Swimming at the chicken shack

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ANDERSON California?!? — A trio of Anderson girls are in hot water with their fast-food employer for dipping themselves into the sink used to clean dishes.

One of the girls bathing in the sink at the Anderson Kentucky Fried Chicken posted the photos on the Internet and after management learned of them, all three were suspended today, said Cheri, assistant manager at the restaurant. She declined to give her last name.

“The girls are being reprimanded for it,” Cheri said.

She said she learned of the photos, which had been posted publicly on the girl’s MySpace.com social Web site, during the dinner rush today.

Cheri did not give the names of the girls.

The photos, which appeared to have been posted late last month, showed the girls bathing in the deep commercial sink and posing in their underwear and swimwear.

“I was in shock when I saw it,” Cheri said.

She said no manager was on duty when the photos were likely taken, when the three girls closed the restaurant themselves. In her more than a year at the store, Cheri said she hadn’t had any incidents similar to this.

The photos had been filed under a gallery called “KFC moments.” Captions for the photos included “haha KFC showers!” and “haha we turned on the jets.”

On her MySpace page, the girl lists herself as a 17-year-old worker at the Anderson KFC.

“I’m a KFC worker, they are my best friends and my family,” she said on her site.

Although the pictures were available to the public earlier today, all of the photos on the girl’s site were restricted to private viewers tonight.

The three are not the first to cleanse themselves in a fast-food sink and get in trouble because of the Internet.

In August a 25-year-old Burger King worker in Xenia, Ohio, was fired after a four-minute video of him taking a birthday bath in the restaurant’s sink appeared on MySpace.com and YouTube.com.

The spiky-haired Timothy Tackett became a minor celebrity earning national news attention for the video, in which he appeared to be naked in the sink.

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Hijinks in the sink at an Anderson fast-food restaurant have cost three girls their jobs.

After closing the Anderson Kentucky Fried Chicken one recent night, the girls stripped to their underwear or changed into bathing suits and took a bath in the dishwashing sink. One of them posted the photos of the event on her public MySpace Web page.

The girls’ manager said she first learned of the photos on Tuesday and suspended the trio.

On Wednesday, they were fired, said Rick Maynard, a KFC spokesman.

“KFC has zero tolerance for violations of our operating standards, and our franchisee has taken immediate action by terminating the employees who were involved,” he wrote in an e-mail.

Asked whether there had been similar situations at other KFCs, he replied, “Of course not.”

Having seen the photos circulated by the media, Fern Hastings, senior environmental health specialist for Shasta County’s Environmental Health, said she’s going to talk with the restaurant’s owner.

D&D Food Management of Hanford owns the KFC, one of about 80 in the company’s fold, said the woman who answered its phone Wednesday. She declined to give her full name, saying only that her first name was Jennifer.

The restaurant had passed its last health inspection in September and is due for another next month. Looking at the pictures, Hastings said the girls are violating state Health Code 113971 – which details that restaurant workers are required to wear clean clothes.

“Obviously they are not wearing clean outer clothing,” Hastings said.

She said the deep multi-section sink is designed to be used to pre-rinse, wash, rinse and sanitize dishes.

“You just don’t think someone is going to get in there,” Hastings said. “It’s definitely not made for humans.”

Word of the workers’ late night bath in the kitchen sink surprised a pair of customers who’d just bought KFC chicken dinners Wednesday afternoon.

A stack of meals next to her on the seat of her pickup, Angie Williamson of Whitmore said she gets food for her family at KFC once a week. But the thought of workers bathing where they wash dishes might change that.

“I will have to see how the family reacts,” she said.

The restaurant’s deals – $2.99 for a chicken fried steak meal on Wednesday – will probably keep Al Meridith of Cottonwood coming back despite the girls’ antics.

“People do strange things,” he said.

After removing the photos on her MySpace page from public access late Tuesday, the 17-year-old girl who had posted the photos made her entire page private Wednesday.

She also put up what appears to be a message for the media.

On the lone part of her page that is still public, she wrote: (sic)”Its a sad world when one has to stoop low enough to go through ones dirty laundry….one womans trash is anothers treasure! -Thanks alot for having good respect how can you live knowing the little bit of money you made was made hurting someone!”

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