A Panera Bread employee said she was fired after "exposing" how the company crafts its highly regarded mac and cheese.
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But she said the firing was "completely justified."
The video quickly went viral, racking up well over 11 million views. It was originally posted on the video-sharing app TikTok before being shared on Twitter, amassing well over 114,000 retweets and over 69,000 likes.
The employee is seen dropping a bag of frozen mac and cheese into hot water. Once it was ready, the employee grabbed the bag, cut it open and poured it into a bowl ready to be served.
The video ended with the employee serving up a wide-eyed grin and a thumbs up to the camera. Though seemingly lighthearted, the move came with some serious consequences.
The account @BriiRamirezz told Twitter followers, "lol I lost my job for this video."
A Panera Bread spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the video to FOX Business but could not comment on whether the employee was fired.
The employee later reiterated on Twitter that this was not a case of wrongful termination and her firing was "completely justified." The employee wrote in part, "Having such long nails and my phone out is a risk to food safety and health regulations."
The spokesperson then reitered how the company adheres to "industry best practices for food safety and quality" while serving at least three million servings of mac and cheese every month across more than 2,100 locations.
"Mac and cheese is made offsite with our proprietary recipe developed by our chefs and using our sourced ingredients that meet our standards for our clean menu offerings," the spokesperson said, adding that the mac and cheese is then shipped frozen to their bakery cafes allowing the company to avoid using certain preservatives that do not meet their clean standards.
Panera Bread Company operates over 309 bakery cafes in 29 states, with a principal focus on specialty breads. About 68 percent of its bakery cafes are franchise units, and the remainder are owned by the company.