Woman claims she found a cigarette in her taco

A Florida woman is furious after she allegedly found a cigarette wrapped up in her soft taco order from Taco Bell.

This story comes on the heels of a similar allegation by a TikToker over a popular Starbucks menu item. In early May, the user claimed that they bit into a Starbucks cake pop with mold in it.

In this case, Taura Helsel told WKRG that she went to a Taco Bell in Escambia County, Fla., on May 3 and ordered a chalupa meal, which includes a soft taco. She alleged that when she got home and unwrapped her taco, she found a “slightly moist” cigarette stuck to it.

She also told the outlet that she had fed some of the tacos to her 1-year-old daughter before she noticed the cigarette.

“I don’t know if it was intentionally put there or if somebody had it on their ear and maybe they were rolling a taco and it fell in there,” Helsel told the station. “But another thing I thought about was how did they not notice that cigarette in there?”

Helsel said she took the taco, cigarette and remaining chalupas back to the Taco Bell. From there, Helsel claims, the workers just tossed the bag in the trash and gave her a refund.

“I thought they were going to apologize or something, but they didn’t,” Helsel added. “The employees seemed really mad that I had come back up there.”

Helsel said that she wasn’t impressed with the alleged reaction, so she posted about her experience on Facebook. Helsel’s account was either made private or she has since deleted the post, but news outlets like TODAY were able to obtain quotes from her post.

“[I] have never been so Disgusted in my life,” Helsel wrote, according to TODAY. “I ain’t ever eating fast food again.. TACO BELL IS SO NASTY I am on my way back there to raise hell.”

Helsel then showed WKRG texts she claimed she exchanged with a Taco Bell employee who offered her a “better dining experience” as long as she took her post down. However, WKRG’s report did not include verification of these texts, such as screenshots or other quotes.

“[The employee] was trying to tell me that I was going to cost people their job, including him, and asked me if I would please be willing to remove the (Facebook) post if he gave me a child’s toy, movie and free food,” Helsel recalled to TODAY. “It was obvious to me that they were trying to sweep it under the rug.”

WKRG reached out to Taco Bell for comment and the corporate relations team replied with the following statement on May 4:

“We take this very seriously. Our franchisee that owns and operates this location is looking into this matter and will be reaching out to the customer directly.”

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