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3 dead, 3 hospitalized after Listeria outbreak in milkshakes at Tacoma Frugals

TACOMA, Wash. — Three people are dead and three others were hospitalized after a Listeria outbreak at the Frugals in Tacoma. Officials said the milkshake machines there were not cleaned properly.

“I love their milkshakes to be honest especially with all the flavors they have,” customer Wayne Holmquist said. “I don’t think it would deter me to be honest.”

We spoke to another customer, Dustyn McGee, who said that the last time he ate at that Tacoma Frugals he “got really sick.” After hearing about the recent listeria outbreak, he was shocked.

“It’s pretty bad -- wow,” he exclaimed.

Investigators said the genetic fingerprinting of bacteria in the milkshakes shows it’s the same strain of Listeria that hospitalized the six victims, three of whom later died. The health department said all six people were immunocompromised. If you had a milkshake between May 29th and August 7th from Frugals and have symptoms, you need to call your doctor immediately.

“If anyone has headaches, muscle aches, neck ache, pain in their arms, they need to go to the hospital immediately to get antibiotics on board,” renown food safety lawyer Bill Marler told KIRO 7.

Marler says there’s not much you can do to protect yourself when you eat at restaurants, but you can take steps at home.

“My advice to people is you know keep your refrigerator cool you know below 40 degrees, and clean it frequently so Listeria doesn’t have an opportunity to grow,” Marler said. “If you do buy deli meats, you do buy cheeses, you do buy fresh fruit and vegetables that are cut or that you cut yourself, use them quickly.”