Taco Bell claims the shells in the viral photograph were never served to customers

A Taco Bell employee was snapped licking a stack of hard-shell tacos in a photograph uploaded to the Taco Bell Facebook page.

Taco Bell said in a statement that they are launching an investigation and plan to take action against those involved. However, a corporate news release explains that the pictured taco shells were never served to customers, but were used for training and were in the process of being thrown out. There is no word as to whether or not the photographed employee has been fired.

The undated photo, allegedly taken in the Ridgecrest, Calif., restaurant, was uploaded by an account registered as “Jj O’Brien Nolan.” The Ridgecrest location currently has an “A” rating with the Kern County Department of Health, according to the Ridgecrest Daily Independent.

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