A dirty ice cream machine at a burger joint in Washington kills 3 people, hospitalizes 6 others

Originally published at: A dirty ice cream machine at a burger joint in Washington kills 3 people, hospitalizes 6 others | Boing Boing


The diner, Frugals

An unfortunate name considering where they ended up cutting costs.


Didn’t this happen more than a few times back in the 90s, except with frozen yogurt?


We all scream.


FROM ice cream.


They’re a very popular small chain in the PNW with several locations in WA & MT, started in '88. Very high customer loyalty – the original one (in my town) has lines all day, none of the national chains here can match that. They are also a big supporter of local causes, with “takeover days” for the H.S. band or whatever.

Sounds like an abundance of caution, if it turned up only at one site for a couple days. Good move. Listeria is nothing to fool around with.


I was secretly hoping that it was a McDonald’s location, with one of their soft serve machines that each of the franchisees were commanded to use, being the culprit.

Note: The selling point of that machine is that will auto re-pasteurize the contents on a set schedule so that cleanings and loss/replacement of ingredients can supposedly happen on a less frequent schedule. But the actual results leave the owner with a problematic machine requiring more frequent maintenance by a “Certified Taylor Technician™”.

That would have been just desserts. (Sorry, couldn’t resist making that pun. B=)

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I live by one. The lines never stop. I have never eaten there because the lines are so long. The folks that eat there swear by it. I just can’t be bothered to wait in line for a burger like that.

I am going to move them off my “to try” list until this situation is sorted out.


No—six people were hospitalized, and three of them later died.

How do I know that? I went to and read the sources that the BB author links to. Here’s from the Washington State Department of Health link:
(emphasis mine)

Genetic fingerprinting of bacteria in the milkshakes shows it’s the same strain of Listeria that hospitalized six people between Feb. 27 and July 22 (five people in Pierce County and one person in Thurston County). All six people had conditions that made their immune systems less able to fight disease. Three of the six people hospitalized died. Two people who were hospitalized, but did not die, said they ate Frugals’ Tacoma milkshakes before getting sick.


Nobody goes there anymore. The lines are too long.


I guess this is why McDonald’s is always cleaning their ice cream machines?


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