POSTED: 04:21 a.m. HST, Feb 20, 2013
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."