KFC spokesman Rick Maynard said an investigation undertaken by the franchise owner in Johnson City, Tenn., confirmed the picture was taken after closing time and the mashed potatoes in question were never served to customers, though he conceded that was the implication.
"Nothing is more important to KFC than food safety," Maynard wrote in an email to the Johnson City (Tenn.) Press. "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."