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Photo goes viral, KFC fires Tennesee employee

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 03:10 p.m. HST, Feb 20, 2013

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. » A photo of a KFC employee appearing to lick a container of mashed potatoes got her fired and drew quick corporate response to a Johnson City restaurant.

The Johnson City Press reported the image went viral on social media over the weekend. The restaurant management referred the newspaper's call to KFC's corporate office. It's owned by Yum Brands, based in Louisville, Ky.

Company spokesman Rick Maynard emailed the newspaper.

"Nothing is more important to KFC than food safety," Maynard wrote. "As soon as our franchisee became aware of the issue, immediate action was taken. The franchisee's investigation confirmed the photos were taken after the restaurant was closed and none of the food was served. The employee involved was immediately terminated."

Her name wasn't revealed.

After the photo was posted online, numerous comments followed; some condemning the stunt, others defending the person pictured.

Maynard's email to the newspaper said the corporation dispatched operations and quality assurance teams to the restaurant on North Roan Street in Johnson City to "reinforce and retrain on KFC's high operating standards."

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Mana07 wrote:
Wow!! I am so glad the SA keeps me up to date on important news!! No need to say anything about some of the crazy new bills being proposed and pushed threw by our extreme left law makers.
on February 20,2013 | 04:19AM
Radley wrote:
You mean like "Gay Dems complain about marriage bill" or "State might OK red-light cameras"? It's amazing what you find when you look around. :)
on February 20,2013 | 06:55AM
mcc wrote:
One paper town, monopoly. They don't work some days and have human interest stories and big photos to fill the front page. They deserve minimum wages!
on February 20,2013 | 11:13AM
palani wrote:
This is one reason the minimum wage should not be raised. Its purpose is to make it worthwhile for businesses to hire low skilled, entry-level workers, providing an opportunity for advancement and higher wages.
on February 20,2013 | 04:42AM
localguy wrote:
palani - Minimum wage has nothing to do it. Obviously this person is immature, not raised right by her parents, hasn't got a clue what the results of her actions would be in a food serving establishment. What was she thinking? If her name goes online she will have a hard time living it down. Firing was justified.
on February 20,2013 | 05:36AM
soundofreason wrote:
" Obviously this person is immature, not raised right by her parents......." >>> So other minimum wage employees heeded their parents advice to GET a minimum wage job?
on February 20,2013 | 06:36AM
inHilo wrote:
Not sure I understand your reasoning. So, I'm guessing you want to keep wages low for people who handle your food so the employer can weed out the potato lickers. Okay, but that means you're willing to be the guinea pig in the process, since those potatoes could eventually end up on your plate. I thought the idea of the minimum wage was to make the job decent enough so the employees could make a living and respect the work they do. What you describe sounds more like a ponzi scheme: work for less money than it takes to survive so the owner can make more money, and one day you can get a better job, except there are a limited number of higher paying jobs so not everyone gets one, and right now we need lots of people in menial jobs, so shut up and keep working. Respect the work that people do, and they will respect you.
on February 20,2013 | 05:51AM
mrluke wrote:
No one in their right mind believes that a minimum wage job is for making a living. They're mostly start up jobs, like the ones I had when young. If you want to "make a living", work your way up, get qualified and have a little motivation. It CAN happen for anyone who actually works at it. If you start off with no marketable job skills, you're going to be paid according to how valuable you are to your employer. Too many people these days get into relationships, start families, run up expenses and then discover to their surprize - My gosh, I need to make a living! Oh Well, maybe I'll just go and find someone who'll pay me enough to get by. Yes, there are some out there who believe that we should pay folks according to their needs, not their abilities. I think a guy named Marx once said something like that.
on February 20,2013 | 07:31AM
phyllum69 wrote:
on February 20,2013 | 08:02AM
koolau wrote:
Double Bingo!!
on February 21,2013 | 04:04AM
aarwood wrote:
You do realize that there are more and more jobs out there that pay minimum wage that really should have a higher wage rate. For example I am a live in companion for adults that have developmental and intellectual disabilities. I have to have a F endorsement on my driver's license, be CPR and first aid certified, medication administration certified. My pay rate is the federal minimum wage. I am essentially a chauffeur, a private nurse, a cook, and a house keeper. I have been in this field for 8 years now. Don't get me wrong I enjoy my job. That's probably the main reason I've stayed here. However, the last time I got a raise was because the federal minimum wage was increased.
on February 20,2013 | 03:19PM
alfie1 wrote:
Good thing I don't like chicken....imua
on February 20,2013 | 04:51AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
You would be amazed at what you get when your order food at a fast food and even fine dining restaurants. I watched a show a long time ago that showed that many workers actually do not wash their hands before making your sandwich. With all of the things that these workers have to do such as cleaning and taking the trash out they are bound to skip the hand washing here and there. And then some do not give their hands a good washing at that. So whenever you eat out you put yourself at risk of catching diseases such as the cold when a worker sneezes on your food. After all, just like in any business workers often come to work sick. The cashiers may look healthy but the guy handling your food might not be.
on February 20,2013 | 09:49AM
st1d wrote:
they should have wash basins outside of restrooms for employees to use after exiting any restroom. that way you can see that hands are being washed.
on February 20,2013 | 10:26AM
mitt_grund wrote:
Hey, my cousin was wandering around the back alleys of Shanghai during the late 30's. He came across a dog who did his thing in a wok of soup. When he tried to alert the kitchen workers, he was shooed away, and the wok taken in the kitchen to be served. Lady may have been trying to straighten out a messy situation, and rather than waste the mash potatoes, cleaned off the container in the least wasteful way.
on February 20,2013 | 11:42AM
mrluke wrote:
"Stupid is, as stupid does"...Forrest Gump
on February 20,2013 | 01:29PM
environmental_lady wrote:
I am far less disturbed by employees licking their dishes than KFC's cruelty toward chickens. I never went inside any of their restaurants let alone eat there. Besides, she licked her plate AFTER hours. Why make such a big deal about it?
on February 20,2013 | 02:55PM
It is also very disturbing what we do to: vegatables, fruits, and all forms of grains....not to mention how horrible it must be for those poor cows. They are subjected to daily milking.
on February 20,2013 | 04:10PM
environmental_lady wrote:
Vegetables, fruits and grains don't have a nervous system. The only disturbing thing is that they are fed to animals instead of humans. I agree that the poor cows are separated from their calves and subjected to daily milking. That's why I am a vegan. I eschew all animal abuse. Actually, since your statement is vague, I don't know which side you are on.
on February 20,2013 | 08:30PM
Anonymous wrote:
if your stupid enough to pull such a stunt, and post it to youtube, then you should be fired from your job!
on February 20,2013 | 03:13PM
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