The photo, which shows a Taco Bell employee licking a stack of fresh taco shells, first appeared on Facebook (FB). However, it was spotted by bloggers and quickly went viral. Taco Bell is now scrambling to contain the fallout, CNBC notes.
Taco Bell says the image was meant as a prank. However, it insists that it has launched an investigation of the matter and has contacted the California Taco Bell restaurant where the man works. The company promises that it will take “swift action against those involved” in the incident.
Last month a California high school was placed in lock-down after officials noticed a suspicious package that turned out to be a Taco Bell wrapper covered in duct tape, a fact discovered only after the school had called the bomb squad.
Shares of Yum! Brands rose about 1% in Tuesday morning trading.