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Six Frugals locations resume selling milkshakes after deadly Listeria outbreak

Ice cream machines used to make milkshakes from six locations tested negative for listeria. The company is looking to buy a new machine for the Tacoma location.

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — After three reported deaths and a Listeria outbreak linked to milkshakes from a Frugals restaurant near Tacoma, the company has resumed selling milkshakes once again.

In a statement, Frugals said the milkshake machines have been tested and results have come back negative for Listeria. Frugals is located in Port Angeles, Tacoma, Auburn and Spokane, with another three Frugals locations in Montana.

Due to the Listeria outbreak, Frugals stopped using its ice cream machines on Aug. 8.

“The milkshake machines from its six locations outside of Tacoma have all been independently lab-tested and as expected, all samples came back negative for the presence of listeria,” according to a statement from Frugals.

Once the lab results were received, Frugals approved the six locations to begin selling milkshakes again, according to the company. No other Frugals restaurants are believed to be affected by the outbreak, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

However at the impacted location, “Tacoma will take a little longer as we are looking into purchasing a new shake machine for this location,” according to Frugals.

Listeria bacteria was found in the ice cream machines at the Tacoma location, which were not cleaned correctly, according to a press release from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH).

So far, two lawsuits have been filed on behalf of people who have died or became ill after drinking a Frugals milkshake earlier in 2023. 

People who are pregnant, ages 65 or older and those with weakened immune systems should call their healthcare provider if they had a Frugals' milkshake at its Pierce County location between May 29 and Aug. 7. 

Listeria symptoms include: 

  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Loss of balance
  • Seizures

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