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What in the world is going on with fast food establishments these days? The kinds of folks that are being hired at these restaurants are certainly making riveting subjects in viral videos. Only a few weeks ago, news broke out about the Taco Bell employee who was caught licking a stack of shells (pictured below).  The latest fast-food grossfest depicts an unidentified Wendy’s worker chugging down soft serve ice cream with his mouth under the machine’s dispenser. The picture was posted Wednesday on the Reddit, a social media site. How will big brand chains be able to do damage control once these types of damaging images hit social media?

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According to Laura Ries, a brand consultant who spoke with USA Today, “Fast-food companies will never be able to totally prevent this kind of thing.  The majority of their workers are young adults armed with cellphones and getting paid minimum wage. It is the nature of the beast.”

Meanwhile, regarding the latest episode of unsanitary noshing, according to Wendy’s, the unnamed employee depicted sucking on frosty has been canned. Bob Bertini, a spokesperson for the popular burger chain, told the New York Daily News, “We don’t know the exact date the photo was taken, but we believe in it was in May,” Bertini wrote in an e-mail. “The incident was totally inappropriate, and we’re taking it very seriously.”

As for the Taco-Bell-shell-licking episode, the employee who pulled the Taco Bell stunt also got put out to pasture and the company swears that the slobbery shells were ONLY used for training purposes.

Senior Vice President of Public Affairs & Communications for the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Sue Hensley spoke to NewsOne about these fast food incidents, and she contends that these negative food fiascos are few and far between, “In an industry that serves 130 million people every day, this type of occurrence is very rare, and something that individual restaurant companies handle swiftly internally.

“In many instances, the food items aren’t served to customers. Unfortunately, a moment of bad judgment by an individual can be shared in an instant on social media, giving a wildly mischaracterized image of the millions of hard-working, professional individuals working in the restaurant industry.”

And I have an island in New York City that I can sell you for a steal!

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