A mother is searching for answers after her son was hospitalized with burns after ingesting a Dairy Queen shake in Thornton, Colorado, that had been contaminated with a chemical cleaning product. Both Lisa Chase and her son suffered burns after drinking the shakes which, she said, according to the local CBS station, tasted strongly of chemicals.
“It was just like you were drinking a very strong cleanser,” she said. “You could feel it go all the way into your stomach — it just burned all the way down.”
An investigation discovered that the vanilla syrup machine used to make the milkshakes contained floor cleaner and degreaser, which usually contains sodium hydroxide (also known as lye). According to the CDC, ingestion of these chemicals can cause severe corrosive injury to the lips, tongue, esophagus, and stomach.
The owner of the Dairy Queen franchise said that it was a freak accident — one employee was soaking the vanilla syrup container in the cleaner when another employee picked it up, thinking it was clean, and filled it with syrup. Both employees have been written up.
"This was an accidental and isolated incident at a location in Thornton," said a rerpesentative from Dairy Queen Corporate. "Of course, our concern is for the customers involved and thankfully they are doing well. Our operator acted quickly to immediately remove the vanilla syrup product in question and follow up with the customers. He has met with his staff to review the detailed protocols and procedures we have available to our operators and has taken the appropriate steps to ensure that this never happens again."
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi