Taco Bell employee licking taco photo - FOX 35 News Orlando

Taco Bell employee licking photo explained

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Taco Bell has issued a statement in response to a social media storm after its Facebook page was flooded with photos that show a store employee licking a stack of taco shells.

The Fast Food giant, owned by Yum! Brands, says that the incident was part of an internal contest that went bad.

Taco Bell initially posted a reply to one person who uploaded a copy of the photo with: "We have spoken with the restaurant and confirmed that the shells were never served to customers. This is completely unacceptable and we are taking the appropriate action against everyone involved."

Taco Bell did not explain how it knew the shells were not served to customers.  It also did not disclose where the restaurant was located.

One visitor to the Facebook page, Matthew Snider, responded:  "Yes, I understand this "could" be considered an isolated incident but who are we kidding? Its fast food run by mostly high school kids whom most have no morals or ethics let alone little hygiene concern for the patron."

An LJ Rhodes asked, "So, if y'all watch video surveillance to see what happened to the licked shells, and it shows that they were indeed sold to customers, are you going to admit as much, or are you going to claim they were thrown in the trash no matter what you discover?"

Later, Taco Bell issued a statement saying, in part:  "The taco shells were used for training in March before we launched a new product, and were in process of being thrown out.  Two employees, however, used them to take a photo for an internal contest in which company and franchise employees could submit for approval photos of themselves enjoying their first bite of the product.  The contest had clear guidelines about what was acceptable and unacceptable.   This image was clearly unacceptable – it violated the rules and spirit of the contest, and the employees never submitted it.  But an employee posted it on a personal social media page in violation of the franchisee's policies, and it emerged online in social media."

It added:  "We do not believe these employees harmed, or intended to harm, anyone.  But we deplore the impressions this has caused to our customers, fans, franchisees, and team members.  The behavior is unacceptable for people working in a restaurant.  Our franchisee is responsible for the employment and conduct of his restaurant's employees and he has informed us that he immediately suspended the employee shown in the photo and is in the process of terminating his employment.  The employee who took the photo no longer works there.  As we complete our investigation we will work with our franchisee to implement any additional action we find appropriate to address this situation and ensure it never happens again."

Taco Bell had temporarily disabled the ability for people to post images to its Facebook page.

  • Your MoneyMore>>

  • Teens want back-to-school gadgets, not clothes

    Teens want back-to-school gadgets, not clothes

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:52:52 GMT
    For many students, school starts next week. So what will your teens be asking you to buy? Technology.That's right: they are willing to wear last year's clothes and instead spend money on the latest tech. Gone are the days of securing your status in high school with the right clothes. Now your teens need to own the newest tablet or smart phone and its accessories.
    For many students, school starts next week. So what will your teens be asking you to buy? Technology.That's right: they are willing to wear last year's clothes and instead spend money on the latest tech. Gone are the days of securing your status in high school with the right clothes. Now your teens need to own the newest tablet or smart phone and its accessories.
  • Conference call: your bathroom break

    Conference call: your bathroom break

    We asked several people what they do when they are on a conference call. Most of them answered: "The bathroom." Yes, according to a survey conducted by InterCall, 47 percent of 500 people admitted to taking a conference call from the bathroom.
    We asked several people what they do when they are on a conference call. Most of them answered: "The bathroom." Yes, according to a survey conducted by InterCall, 47 percent of 500 people admitted to taking a conference call from the bathroom.
  • Monitoring your kids' driving in real time

    Monitoring your kids' driving in real time

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-08-28 02:46:07 GMT
    Many new Ford and GM cars have built-in technology that allows you to monitor speed, signaling, and navigation when your child is driving. But when it comes to this type of digital snooping, teens and their parents often have differing opinions. Kids may call it an invasion of privacy. Most parents, of course, will likely feel otherwise.
    Many new Ford and GM cars have built-in technology that allows you to monitor speed, signaling, and navigation when your child is driving. But when it comes to this type of digital snooping, teens and their parents often have differing opinions. Kids may call it an invasion of privacy. Most parents, of course, will likely feel otherwise.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices