Riddle for Taco Bell: Name a four-letter word that might be as big a public-relations nightmare as the restaurant chain's recent E. coli outbreak. Answer: Rats. Dozens of them, captured on video as they scampered about a New York City franchise.
CNBC's Scott Wapner reported on "Morning Call" from the Taco Bell location in NYC's West Village, where swarms of vermin apparently ran unfettered. He noted that the restaurant had recently received a "clean bill" after being cited for code violations by the New York City Department of Health only two months ago -- following other hygienic citations in 2005 and 2004.
Of course, the rodent horde is only the latest PR woe to hit the Yum! Brands arm: In December, the Tex-Mex eatery chain yanked green onions from all 5,800 of its restaurants across the U.S., after the ingredient was suspected to have carried a dangerous strain of the E. coli bacterium that sickened at least 60 people across New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.