Taco Bell Employee Licks Shells

This is not a good week to work in corporate communication at Taco Bell. A photo posted on the company's Facebook page shows an employee licking a stack of taco shells.

  Taco Bell

The image is gut churning, but before we jump to any conclusions, we need to know whether these shells were sold or were expired and on their way to the trash bin. Regardless, Rob Poetsch, a Taco Bell representative submitted this statement:

"When we learned of the situation we immediately contacted this restaurant's leadership and although we believe it is a prank and the food was not served to customers, we are conducting a full scale investigation and will be taking swift action against those involved."

In another statement, the company led with, "Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and team members, and we have strict food handling procedures and zero tolerance for any violations."

Discussion Starters:

  • If you were Taco Bell's head of corporate communications, what would you do now? How about if you were the head of human resources? Marketing?  
  • The company seemed to have removed the photo from its Facebook page. Discuss this strategy: what are the advantages and disadvantages?