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Taco Bell 'taco-licker' fired after photo went viral


(Facebook) Credit: (Facebook)

Playing with your food won't just get you in trouble with your parents — it could get you fired.

The Taco Bell employee who snapped the viral photo of a worker licking a stack of taco shells has been canned, and the taco-licker himself was suspended and is set to be terminated, Taco Bell said in a statement out Tuesday.

"We deplore the impressions this has caused to our customers, fans, franchisees and team members,” the fast-food chain said. “The behavior is unacceptable for people working in a restaurant,” it said, adding that both employees would be gone.

Taco Bell said the shells were being used for training in March and would be trashed afterward, and that the photo was part of an internal contest that encouraged employees to take photos of themselves enjoying the new taco shells.

Fans were outraged after the photo was posted, and the image quickly went viral as customers questioned whether the shells were ever served. (Taco Bell said they were not.)

The Facebook page has since been bombarded with comments, some expressing support for the company but others proclaiming their disgust.

"I always knew there was a reason I don't eat at Taco Bell. Employees licking shells? Ick! That just sealed it," one commenter wrote Tuesday.

Taco Bell is responding to some of the Facebook comments, assuring the public that this behavior is uncommon and that precautionary measures are being taken.

“This type of behavior is not tolerated and is unacceptable," the company commented back to one user.

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