3 Deaths Tied to Listeria Milkshakes at Washington State Restaurant

3 Deaths Tied to Listeria Milkshakes at Washington State Restaurant

Contaminated Milkshakes at Frugals Tacoma Linked to Illness and Deaths

A recent incident involving contaminated milkshakes at Frugals restaurant in Tacoma, Washington, has raised concerns after it was linked to six hospitalizations and three deaths. The milkshakes, sold at the restaurant, have been found to contain a strain of listeria bacteria. While only the Tacoma location of Frugals seems to have been affected, the situation highlights the importance of proper food safety measures and the potential risks associated with bacterial contamination.

Listeria is a type of bacteria that can cause serious illness, particularly in individuals who are more vulnerable, such as older adults, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems. In this case, investigators discovered listeria in the ice cream machines at Frugals, which had not been cleaned correctly. Although the restaurant had stopped using the machines on August 8, it can take up to 70 days for listeria symptoms to develop in affected individuals.

It is crucial for people who fall into the high-risk groups to seek medical attention if they consumed a Frugals Tacoma milkshake between May 29 and August 7 and are experiencing symptoms of listeria. Symptoms of listeria illness may include fever, muscle aches, tiredness, and in pregnant women, additional signs such as headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or seizures.

While most individuals who consume listeria-contaminated food will not become seriously ill, it is important to note that it can be dangerous for those at higher risk. Prompt medical intervention, including antibiotic treatment, is advisable for affected individuals to prevent complications and minimize the risk of severe illness or adverse outcomes.

Frugals Tacoma has expressed deep regret over the incident and emphasized its commitment to cooperating with health authorities in the investigation. In an Instagram statement, the restaurant acknowledged the seriousness of the situation and the potential harm caused to customers. Their priority is to win back the trust of their patrons.

Health investigators have discovered that the strain of listeria found in the contaminated milkshakes is the same one responsible for a previous outbreak in Washington’s Pierce and Thurston counties. Between February 27 and July 22, this strain of listeria had already led to hospitalizations and deaths. It is concerning that two individuals who were hospitalized but survived reported consuming Frugals Tacoma milkshakes prior to falling ill. All six individuals affected by the outbreak had pre-existing conditions that compromised their immune system, making them more susceptible to severe illness.

This incident at Frugals Tacoma serves as a reminder of the importance of proper food handling and sanitation practices in the restaurant industry. It highlights the need for regular cleaning and maintenance of equipment, particularly those involved in food preparation, to prevent the growth and spread of harmful bacteria. Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of awareness and vigilance among high-risk individuals who should promptly seek medical attention if they suspect consumption of contaminated food.

Ensuring food safety requires a collaborative effort between restaurants, health authorities, and consumers. Restaurant owners and staff must prioritize food hygiene and adhere to strict protocols to prevent the occurrence of such incidents. Regular inspections by health departments are essential to identify and rectify any potential breaches in food safety practices. Consumers, on the other hand, should be proactive in their food choices and remain vigilant of any product recalls or advisories issued by health authorities.

Ultimately, the Frugals Tacoma incident should serve as a wake-up call for the restaurant industry and the public at large. Proper food safety practices are essential to safeguard public health and prevent any adverse outcomes. By staying informed, utilizing appropriate preventive measures, and holding food establishments accountable, we can all contribute to a safer and healthier dining experience for everyone.