According to the Washington State Department of Health, Listeria was found in restaurant ice cream machines that were not properly cleaned.
TACOMA, Wash. – Three people have died and three others have been hospitalized in connection with a Listeria outbreak linked to milkshakes sold at a Frugals restaurant in Tacoma.
According to a press release from the Washington State Department of Health, Listeria was found in ice cream machines at the location that were not properly sanitized. No other Frugals restaurants are said to be affected by the outbreak.
The bacteria’s genetic fingerprints showed it was the same strain that got all six people hospitalized and then killed three. All six had conditions that compromised their immune systems.
According to the department, the restaurant stopped using the ice cream machine on August 8, but Listeria can make people sick for up to 70 days after that.
In a statement, the restaurant chain said it was “deeply saddened to learn of the Washington State Department of Health’s report that six people were hospitalized with food-borne listeriosis and three subsequently died. We are heartbroken. and deeply regret any harm our actions may have caused.”
In addition to immediately stopping milkshake production at the Tacoma site, the company sent the ice cream machine to an independent site for cleaning and re-testing for any residual bacteria. The company says it will undergo enhanced cleaning, safety and hygiene procedures across all locations.
Most people who eat food contaminated with Listeria will not have serious complications, but people who are pregnant, 65 years of age or older, and people with weakened immune systems should call their health care provider. their health if they drink the Frugals milkshakes at their Tacoma site between May 29 and August 7. Listeria can be treated with antibiotics.
Listeria symptoms include:
- Muscle pain
- Stiff neck
People who are pregnant will often experience fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. Listeria can also cause miscarriage and premature birth.