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The photo, featuring the worker standing in the greens with his shoes on, was subtitled "this is the lettuce you eat at Burger King."
The image didn't sit well with the anonymous – and often roguish – denizens of 4Chan, who on Monday began forwarding it to news outlets in and around Mayfield Heights. Based on GPS data in the image, online sleuths had determined the suburb to be the setting of the disturbing tableau, according to the Cleveland Scene.
Since then, the three employees involved have been fired, according to a statement from Burger King, which stressed that the restaurant involved "is independently owned and operated by a Burger King franchisee."
The company has "stringent food handling procedures," according to the statement. "Food safety is a top priority at all Burger King restaurants and the company maintains a zero-tolerance policy against any violations such as the one in question."
The fast food industry has recently been fertile ground for fans of Internet forums and discussion boards. Last month, a Reddit user dished on the social site about his experience working for McDonald's, discussing the chain's secret menu, bizarre drive-through customers, cleaning standards and more.