Lifestyle & Belief

Taco Bell employee axed over licking incident


LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 19: Customers walk to a Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurant during lunchtime on April 19, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Yum Brands Inc., the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut chains, reported dramatically strong first quarter earnings.


Kevork Djansezian

A none-too-social-media savvy Taco Bell employee has been fired from his position after he snapped a photo of himself licking a stack of hard taco shells at one of the franchise's restaurants.

The hapless employee, identified only as "Jj O’Brien Nolan" by CNBC, posted an image of himself on Facebook defacing a stack of the fast food company's taco shells with his tounge. 

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Consumer advocate blog "The Consumerist" quickly jumped onto the case, calling the lurid image (fairly accurately) one that "may change your mind about going to Taco Bell for lunch today." 

Taco Bell quickly swung into action, noting in a statement on its website that "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 fast food company noted that the shells had been used in a training exercise and were slated to be thrown out, and thus weren't served to any customers — although Taco Bell stressed that the "behavior is unacceptable for people working in a restaurant."

The employee in question has been suspended and is in the position of being terminated from his post, a progression of events that will likely make him think twice about licking fast food in public again.