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Taco Bell reacts quickly to employee's gross photo 

Image: Taco Bell worker
This picture was posted to Facebook by an account registered to “Jj O'Brien Nolan,”

Hopefully not all of Taco Bell’s workers love the shells as much as it appears one of its California employees does.

The company Monday was reacting to a picture posted on Facebook that appears to show a Taco Bell employee licking a stack of taco shells.

“We’re currently dealing with it,” Cathy Marx, the manager of the Taco Bell in Ridgecrest., Calif. told CNBC in a brief interview. The restaurant currently has an “A” rating from the County of Kern Public Health Services Department.

A corporate spokesman also issued a statement about the picture.

“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,” a company spokesman said in a statement emailed to CNBC. “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.”

The company declined to offer any other details.

The picture was posted to Facebook by an account registered to “Jj O'Brien Nolan,” who lists an affiliation to Ridgecrest. It was posted on the Consumerist website after a reader saw it posted on Taco Bell’s Facebook page.

In 2007, Taco Bell was infamously in the spotlight as one of its KFC/Taco Bell restaurants in New York City’s Greenwich Village was taken over by about two dozen rats after the employees had gone home. Clearly visible through the front windows, videos of their escapades went viral on the Internet. The location was shuttered by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and went out of business.