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Dairy Queen workers allege they were forced to eat contaminated ice cream

By Jake Beardslee · March 1, 2024

In brief…

  • Employees at Kentucky DQ allegedly forced to eat tainted ice cream
  • Manager accused of punishment for improper cleaning
  • Franchise owner investigating, manager no longer employed
  • Sheriff's office investigating but no charges filed yet
Employees at a Kentucky Dairy Queen say their manager compelled them to eat ice cream contaminated with cleaning products as a punishment.  Harrison Keely/Wikimedia

Employees at a Dairy Queen in Campton, Kentucky allege that their manager forced them to eat ice cream contaminated with cleaning solution as punishment for improperly cleaning the ice cream machine. Angela Patton told local news station WKYT that her 17-year-old daughter was among around eight workers, many of them minors, who were compelled to eat the tainted ice cream. Patton said the manager “told them by the manager that whether or not they liked chocolate ice cream, they were going to taste it today.” She claims several employees experienced burning sensations and sought medical attention after ingesting the ice cream.

The franchise owner, Steve Caudill, stated that “The safety of our fans and crew members is our top priority. When we received complaints, we immediately began an investigation, which is ongoing. We are reviewing our processes and covering expenses for crew members involved. The manager involved is no longer employed at our restaurant. Know that we contacted local law enforcement to assist and we are fully cooperating with their investigation.”

The Wolfe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it is looking into the allegations, but could not provide many details since the investigation involves juveniles. The sheriff’s office is communicating with the county attorney to determine next steps. No charges have been filed yet related to the incident.

Product tampering and intentionally contaminating food can potentially lead to criminal charges. There have been some viral video trends in recent years showing people licking and touching food products before putting them back for others to purchase.