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Taco Bell workers fired over shell-licking picture

UPI News Service, 06/06/2013 

Taco Bell's corporate office in California said the employee seen licking a stack of taco shells in an online photo has been fired.

The company announced on its website the employee pictured licking a stack of taco shells and another employee who snapped the photo, which spread quickly online, were fired from their fast food restaurant, CNBC reported Thursday.

"We do not believe these employees harmed, or intended to harm, anyone," Taco Bell said in a statement Tuesday. "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."

The company said the shells were being used for training purposes and were due to be thrown out, not sold to customers.

The manager of the Taco Bell restaurant in Ridgecrest, Calif., confirmed the picture was taken at the restaurant.

Officials declined to identify the two fired employees.

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