Dairy Queen Sells Man Four Delicious Burgers

We’re not sure what Robert’s problem is but apparently he doesn’t appreciate the hard work Dairy Queen went into making him and his family four delicious cheeseburgers. Irregardless of the futility of the endeavor, he has decided to make it his personal mission to try to sic the health department on his local Dairy Queen, simply because his burgers came out nearly raw. News flash Robert! Ever heard of a steak tartare? This is a Freedom Steak, and you don’t have to go into one of them fancy-pants restaurants to get it. His ill-informed ranting and more pictures of tasty burgers, after the jump…


I emailed about this in the past with a pic of a poorly assembled fish sandwich…now they are just trying to poison people by undercooking the meat. That may actually be an illegal act in the state of Washington since we have food safety laws about undercooking food. Anyway, here are some pics of the offending burgers and a copy of the message I sent to DQ via their web form. As usual, the phone in the local DQ went unanswered when I tried to call to complain. I left a message with the local health dept and am awaiting a call back from them.

What I sent to DQ…added the parenthesis after the fact, their form has that info already but thought it would be good to include here:

Went to this DQ (230 128th St W, Everett, WA 98204.) again tonight (03/09/08) after refusing to go there for a while due to their sub-par food. I have submitted multiple complaints about this store in the past and tonight’s experience will lead me to go to the authorities. We purchased 4 cheeseburgers and a couple of Oreo brownie blast things. The cheeseburgers were basically raw. Not just 1 but every one we have looked at so far which is 3 of 4. They are not only dangerous but illegal in this state due to laws designed to keep from poisoning people. I will be taking them to the Snohomish County Health Dept. in the morning to illustrate my report. Also, I think I will be sending a copy of this message along with pics of the burgers to The Consumerist, a consumer blog located at http://www.consumerist.com so that everyone can see how Dairy Queen cooks their burgers incompletely.

Thank you for your time and attention,

Robert F.

Our advice to Robert is to go back to this Dairy Queen and offer to work there for free for a few days to make up for his wasting the time of struggling small business owners by having the gall to file baseless complaints with the redtapeocrats.dqsomethingdifferent.jpg


Edit Your Comment

  1. B says:

    Wow, you can get a chain restaurant to sell you burgers that aren’t overcooked? I’m with Congolmerist on this one. Stop bitching. Pink is how beef should be served.

  2. brent_w says:

    I hate April 1st. >.<

  3. mgy says:

    I forgot Dairy Queen served burgers for a minute, which made this whole post very, very confusing.

  4. DrGirlfriend says:

    mmmm e.coli!

  5. faust1200 says:

    As long as it doesn’t flinch when you bite into it, no problem.

  6. demonradio says:

    That is pretty disgusting looking. I would vomit if I bit into something like that.

  7. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    It’s a good thing this guy wasn’t eating it driving home at night.

    I saw a show on Discovery, where a kid at a tiny bite, and later the bacteria ate through his large intestine.

  8. ilikemoney says:

    Best post ever.

  9. mike says:

    I like my hamburgers so fresh to the point that I still hear them moo-ing.

  10. RandoX says:

    That’s almost enough to turn me vegan. Almost.

  11. friendlynerd says:

    Slap it on the ass and walk it by the fire.

  12. ChuckECheese says:

    It’s funny how every generation has to be taught all over again how to cook stuff. You think babies would be born knowing how to grill hamburgers by now.

  13. Beerad says:

    I think C-ist’s April Fool’s gag is to post stories that are just confusing. This seems too absurd to be real, but then again… Is it a joke? Who knows?

    Undercooked meat isn’t automatically “poisonous,” you know. I do wish I could get burgers like that, just not at Dairy Queen. Given the average level of food safety/quality at DQ they should probably be searing meat to ash before serving it. But is siccing the regulators on them really the best way to address this?

    In any event, the funniest part of this news article/joke is “Went to this DQ … again tonight … after refusing to go there for a while due to their sub-par food.” Did OP really expect that DQ had vastly improved their quality since last time? New chef, perhaps?

  14. yzerman says:

    God that makes me hungery.

    So can’t wait until may to get my in and out fix on!

  15. catcherintheeye says:

    @B: Steaks should be rare or medium rare – burgers should never be pink.

  16. mgy says:

    @Beerad: It’s actually the Conglomerist now.

  17. Falconfire says:

    Normally if I cooked it, or I got it at a decent restaurant, I would ask them to cook it that way (even then I can rarely get a place to cook it to medium rare, forget about rare as it should be.

    But Dairy Queen? Yeah that bitch better be charred to a crisp.

  18. Shinzou says:

    This is the exact thing that happened to me at a Dairy Queen here in Missouri, I even ordered 4 burgers (there’s a promotion going on). It looked exactly like that. I wish I had called the health department, but I was so shocked I called the manager and she reimbursed us for the food we bought. I accepted the new food and then promptly never ate there again.

  19. B says:

    @catcherintheeye: I think we’ll just have to disagree on this one. I prefer burgers to be pink.

  20. unklegwar says:

    That’s how they look when I make in the yard! Yum!

  21. The reason that steaks can be pink in the middle but burgers can’t is really quite simple.

    The inside of the steak is contained by the outside of the steak, therefore there is no way for outside contaminates to get in. That’s why you cook the outside.

    A burger is ground beef. That means that the inside of the burger was likely on the outside at sometime, and you need to cook it thoroughly the whole way through to ensure that any and all contaminates get taken care of.

    I hardly ever even cook and I know this. When cooking burgers poke them with a fork. When blood quits coming out of your fork holes, that means it’s done (or close to it). I guess you could use a thermometer too, but a fork is generally cheaper and more readily available.

  22. demonradio says:

    Funny.. I had left this window open and accidentally hit refresh and the top picture was changed. At first it was just kind of a pale, normal camera phone picture. Now it’s all enhanced to accentuate the pink, which showed up just fine before.

  23. UNFJoel says:

    One the one hand though, what do you expect from Dairy Queen? I mean, it might be different in WA than in FL where I am, but you just don’t get “food” from a DQ… you get ice cream and that’s it… it’s pretty hard to screw up or poison ice cream. (Though once I did get a cookie dough blizzard, and it was 4/5 cookie dough and 1/5 ice cream… like they forgot to add the ice cream basically!)

  24. faust1200 says:

    @sohmc: or barking.

  25. Booji_Boy says:

    @Beerad: “Undercooked meat isn’t automatically “poisonous,” you know”.
    For most beef, rare is not a problem. Ground beef needs to be cooked all the way through. Has to do with the fact that the outside, which may have been sitting on a contaminated surface, is now on the inside due to the grinding process.

    And yeah, 99% of the time it’s not a problem, but you REALLY don’t want to be part of that 1%.

  26. loueloui says:

    I saw something that said that overall, Dairy Queen was the most poorly run, and filthiest of the major chains.

    The same story pointed out one of the filthiest which unfortunately was right down the street from where I used to live(Orlando, Florida) and visited by me and my wife on many occasions.

  27. Gev says:

    @Beerad: I’m pretty sure the whole gimmick here is to parody the folks who don’t immediately go running for the rakes and torches every time an article is posted detailing the horrible suffering that some poor consumer had to endure at the hands of a greedy, evil, multinationalist corporation.

  28. Trai_Dep says:

    Pink* is the new Black.

    * Sorry, T-Mobile!

  29. MisterE says:

    Mmmm. Tasty.

  30. I want them to bring me my burgers while they’re still screaming thank you very much.

  31. tme2nsb says:

    According to the article, these are FISH sandwhiches.

  32. tme2nsb says:

    @tme2nsb: And i know what I did there. Damn no edit button.

  33. failurate says:

    @RamV10: You are correct to watch the blood and color of liquid coming out of the burger, but never poke your burger with a fork. You will end up with dry burgers.

  34. SoCalGNX says:

    Blow its nose, wipe its A** and throw it on the plate!

  35. RandoX says:

    @Trai_Dep: As long as it’s not magenta.

  36. B says:

    @Booji_Boy: If you’re careful about not contaminating the meat, it’s not a problem. I wouldn’t expect Dairy Queen to meet the highest levels of cleanliness, however.

  37. seym0ur caKe says:

    Well done, or it’s going back!

  38. Pro-Pain says:

    I worked @ a very well run DQ as a manager right outta college for two years. I got paid VERY well for the job. I can tell you exactly what happend here- The burgers are put through a broiler to thaw/cook (they are frozen going in), this buy itself, if speeded up to hurry the burgers along will cause them to come out just like this guy’s burgers did. Undercooked. You are SUPPOSED TO FINISH THEM ON THE FRIER! Obviously, these people are lazy, and that didn’t get done. End of story.

  39. exkon says:

    LOL, the picture quality isn’t really up to par, not sure if those burgers are almost “raw” more like medium rare at most.

    Yes!! It’s about time business starts to FIGHT BACK.

  40. Beerad says:

    @Booji_Boy: Like I said, I’m not comfortable enough with DQ’s food handling procedures to trust anything cooked less than a dull grey color (same with McD, Wendy’s, etc.). But I’ll take my chances with a medium rare burger from just about any reputable local eatery I’m frequenting, thank you very much. I’ve had food poisoning before (I think from some tainted tortilla soup, go figure) and it’s certainly no picnic (so to speak), but it hasn’t deterred my preference in burger doneness.

  41. llcooljabe says:

    I’m sick and tired of everyone blaming the victim.

  42. langba says:

    Completely uncooked and it would have been a cannibal burger. And, yes, *some* people will eat cannibal burgers. (How many times can I say cannibal? Ooh, one more!) Cannibal, cannibal, cannibal.

    Anywho, I saw a coworker that always orders a rare steak freak out at a rare burger. What do you think that steak turns into after the first chew? Maybe the steak sauce recolors the meat a brownish color. Ketchup wouldn’t be helping the situation about the burger. Aah! It’s bleeding vinegar and ketchup! Aah!

  43. chc08 says:

    I wish I could get a restaurant to serve me a medium-rare burger these days. Damn germaphobes. We’d be healthier if all our food wasn’t clinically sterile.
    That being said, I probably wouldn’t trust the ground beef to be as clean at Dairy Queen as it would be at finer dining establishments

  44. ConRoo says:

    It’s a shame how one franchisee can make a whole chain look bad.

    I love my DQ!

  45. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:

    Are there really so many people who don’t understand that this is a joke?

    Personally, I have my fingers crossed for a Conglomerist “we just innocently asked to check this guy’s receipt and he started screaming and ranting about the Fourth Amendment” post.

  46. NORMLgirl says:

    I believe that the beef supplied to Dairy Queen has been irradiated. Therefore there should be no concern about bacteria in an undercooked burger. Concern about irradiation is a whole new subject.

  47. Beerad says:

    @A.W.E.S.O.M.-O: But when you can’t tell the jokes from the regular content…

  48. langba says:

    @llcooljabe: He only considers himself a victim because he chooses not to eat ground steak that happens to be a little rare. I don’t recalling any information posted in DQ that promises their burgers will be completely cooked. He just needs to explain what he wants a little better and stop expecting DQ to be a mind reader.

  49. DrGirlfriend says:

    If you grind meat yourself, and the cut comes from a good butcher, you should be able to grind your own beef and cook your burgers to whatever degree you want. The way I see it, unless you are grinding it yourself, burgers shouldn’t have any pink to them. You just don’t know what condition the grinding equipment is, or the quality of the meats that have gone through a commercial grinder. The main problem with ground beef is that all of it comes into contact with grinding blades, and if any one of those blades has any kind of bacteria on it, it’s just spread it to every inch of that ground beef.

  50. llcooljabe says:


    I was just joking. I suppose I should have put one of those smiley faces on my post, or maybe a generous dose of “LOL” sprinkled in.

  51. Anto103 says:

    Is this a April Fools gag from The Consumerist? I may of been just reading this site for two weeks but this doesn’t seem right to me. Blaming the customer? Something must be wrong.

  52. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:

    @Beerad: I’m interested to see if the letter is real…my initial impression was that it was made-up (“I went to DQ again after refusing to eat there due to subpar food”) but consumers write crazy things sometimes.

    For some reason, I also think the sentence “We purchased 4 cheeseburgers and a couple of Oreo brownie blast things.” is really funny.

  53. Grandjester says:


    I had an Aussie co-worker who’s order went “Chop off the horns, wipe it’s bum and toss it on the plate”

  54. Mayor McRib says:

    Great! Now DQ will also be getting a C&D letter from T-Mobile for the magenta burgers.

  55. JMH says:

    It may just be the photography but that looks about medium rare, hardly “almost raw”.

  56. langba says:

    @llcooljabe: I figured, but I just had to say something. I have Teret’s of the Fingers when I’m typing. Happy 54557th Modified Julian Date Day!

  57. Jetts says:

    @B: Note for all Canadians. Be prepared to tell the American waiter or waitress how you would like your burger done, just like your steak. Hint: the non-E-Coli answer is “Well done.”

    Note for Americans: In Canada, “Well done” is what your getting. Please enjoy the wonderful barley-fed beef, YUM!

    Seriously though, the first time I was asked this I was totally shocked. I was raised to mistrust all ground meat and treat it like I would chicken or pork.

  58. specialed5000 says:

    @B: E coli contamination tends to happen at the slaughterhouse/processing plant when bacteria from the intestines contaminates the meat. Local conditions of cleanliness has little to nothing to do with it. You can have the cleanest kitchen in the world, and still become sick from E coli due to undercooked ground.

    I like a burger with a little warm pink in the middle, but would never order one that way in a restaurant, only well done. When I make them at home, I only buy ground beef that is ground on site in the meat dept of my local grocery store. It’s much less likely to have little bits of E coli contaminated cow poop in it.

    @langba: Steaks are much, much less likely to have E coli contamination than ground beef (grinding it in huge plants creates conditions where a little bit of cow crap can contaminate millions of pounds of ground beef). I will order a steak medium in a restaurant, but never a burger.

  59. Johnny_Roastbeef says:

    Are you kidding me? I only eat my burgers cold and red in the center. If you overcook a burger, it defeats its own purpose.

  60. chiieddy says:

  61. langba says:

    @specialed5000: I try to stay away from the bung hole when I bite into a cow.

  62. ianmac47 says:

    Frankly, it looks a little overcooked.

  63. modenastradale says:

    Ew, gross. Ground beef should never be undercooked (unless it’s been irradiated) because the surface contaminants have been driven into the meat. Especially not from some half-assed operation like DQ. Ick.

  64. corvi_yallis says:

    Well, first, you brought your family to eat junk food, then you complained that the food you get was junk. Hmmmm……

  65. forgottenpassword says:

    YUCK@!!! My burgers have to be grey in the middle…. NO PINK! No e-coli for me thanks!

    I am very wary of undercooked food… my eggs have to be well cooked (NOT runny) etc. etc..

  66. I wonder if most of the Consumerist readers suffer from HIV with the way they panic about various things. A healthy adult isn’t going to drop dead from eating something like this. I wouldn’t feed a kid meat that raw, but jeeze, I don’t know how some people cope going outside with this mentality.

  67. forgottenpassword says:


    I have a hangup when it comes to raw meat (I dont even like handling it without latex gloves). It all happened with all those damn dateline reports about e coli contamination years ago. Mad cow didnt help much either.

    I am not a germaphobe though. Only when it comes to raw meat. Otherwise I am a disgusting mess.

  68. dwarf74 says:

    Ummm, those actually look pretty tasty…

  69. betatron says:

    OMG! OMG! Someone call the waahmbulance!!

  70. camille_javal says:

    I have a terrible immune system, and I like rare burgers. No food poisoning from burgers yet. I would not eat a rare burger from Dairy Queen, however; my concern is less the outside/inside distinction that so many people are making (as compared to steak), but that so many, many cheap beef processing plants don’t seem to understand that you have to *clean* the grinder. So it’s more the bacteria from old meat going through that scares me.

    If you live near a Wegman’s – irradiated ground beef. Mmmm.

  71. savvy9999 says:

    Mmmm… DQ burgers… still have the marks where the jockey whipped it.

  72. skilled1 says:

    1: That is why you do not order food from a place that does food as a second means of income. That is like going in to get your tires rotated and getting a cheeseburger from the guy behind the counter at the local les schwab.

    2: i have never been more happy to not live in everett.

  73. Sasquatch says:

    If this guy is so concerned about his health, why the f*** is he eating burgers from a Dairy Queen in the first place?

  74. ZekeSulastin says:

    @Sasquatch: Mayhaps because it is standard to expect a certain minimum level of food preparation safety at any restaurant, to include cooking the hamburgers properly?

    Yes, I know he can do everything cheaper and safer in his own house etc. etc. etc., but if he DOES decide to buy a burger the health risk should come from the added calories and fat, not the added E. Coli.

  75. SuperJdynamite says:

    @Jetts: “Be prepared to tell the American waiter or waitress how you would like your burger done, just like your steak.”

    That’s the exception rather than the rule, especially at chain restaurants.

  76. bdgbill says:

    First of all, don’t buy food at Dairy Queen.

    Second, this guy went back and bought meat from a place where he has made “several complaints in the past”.

    Is this the only restaurant within 20 miles of his house or does he just like to complain? I’m thinking he likes to complain.

    This one should not have made it onto the Consumerist. Not even on April 1st

  77. SuperJdynamite says:

    @specialed5000: “It’s much less likely to have little bits of E coli contaminated cow poop in it.”

    The contamination generally comes from the slaughterhouse, not the store. Washing before grinding is a good idea, but that won’t stop strains of E. Coli like 0157:H7.

  78. valarmorghulis says:

    awwww crap (hopefully not literally)…i’ve eaten at that DQ

  79. uberbucket says:

    Take that colon!

  80. Angryrider says:

    E. Coli? hah! Real Americans don’t fear anything, even if their beef is tainted.

  81. @Sasquatch: Because when you pay for cooked food, you expect it to be cooked.

  82. axiomatic says:


    Is this contagious… or actually a city?

  83. arsbadmojo says:

    They look fine to me.

  84. magic8ball says:

    @axiomatic: Those don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

  85. jefuchs says:

    “Irregardless” is not a word!!!

    Like nails on a chalkboard. How can I concentrate on the rest of the story after an amateur writing gaff like that?

  86. ratsgnawingatmyface says:

    @axiomatic: More a town. Lots of antique shops, a river runs through it, close to Monroe…home of local NASCAR racing. John Popper from Blues Traveler lives out there somewhere. Two good car shows each year and a festival called Kla Ha Ya Days…which is something Native American, I assume.

  87. coffee177 says:

    I went to Dairy Queen and all I got for it was Mad Cow disease.

  88. justdan says:

    I got a piece of plastic piping in one of my grilled-stuft burritos from Taco Bell and reported it to Health and Human Services in Wisconsin and was ignored. Now, I see, I should have sent pictures to The Consumerist instead. And that was no April Fool’s joke — it could have killed me.

  89. nardo218 says:

    They don’t look that raw. Did anyone get sick? When I was a kid, my uncle (accidentally, probably) served me a nearly raw burger, and I didn’t know pink insides were bad and it tasted good, so. :) Puked the whole ride home.

    Neway, if it was me, I’d just politely complain to the counter folk and I’m sure they’d make another batch of burgers. When you’re making 5 gagillion burgers a day, stuff happens.

  90. aka_bigred says:

    @jefuchs –> AMEN!

    Irregardless is not & should not be an intelligent word. Let’s break it down

    Root: regard
    Definition: to have or show respect or concern for.

    Prefix: Ir
    Definition: prefix meaning “not” or “the opposite of”

    Suffix: less
    Definition: Without, lacking.

    Put it all together and Irregardless becomes a double-negative and therefore means with regard!!!

  91. aka_bigred says:

    The word you wanted was “REGARDLESS” – Your editor should be shot.

  92. axiomatic says:

    Yes I too caught the Consumerist regarding “Irregardless.” It was without regard regard, which I think is the implied fictitious word?

    In fact it was irresponsible regarding the regardlessness of “said” irresponsibility.


  93. rjhiggins says:

    Really, I’m not victim-blaming here, but I just don’t get it: There are hundreds of restaurants in and around Everett, and he keeps going back to a DQ about which he’s submitted multiple complaints?

  94. rjhiggins says:

    @ratsgnawingatmyface: In this case they’re referring to Snohomish County, not the city.

  95. specialed5000 says:


    “@specialed5000: “It’s much less likely to have little bits of E coli contaminated cow poop in it.”

    The contamination generally comes from the slaughterhouse, not the store. Washing before grinding is a good idea, but that won’t stop strains of E. Coli like 0157:H7.”

    Thank you for repeating exactly what I just said:

    “E coli contamination tends to happen at the slaughterhouse/processing plant when bacteria from the intestines contaminates the meat.”

  96. ratsgnawingatmyface says:

    @rjhiggins: Looking for improvement in the restaurant? Masochist? Not really good at learning?

  97. G-16 says:

    And I bet you would be upset if your milk was not frozen, with little bits of Oreo, too!

  98. KenManiac says:

    i love the DQ near me. i don’t eat at McDeath or Burger Thing anymore, but DQ has some yummy burgers, chili dogs and shakes!

    Best fast food burgers, IMHO.

    but this is real close to the Culinary Institute of America, altho the employees look more like high school kids.

  99. pigeonpenelope says:

    i’ve been to that dairy queen.

    i don’t know that in wa it is against the law to serve undercooked hamburger.. otherwise red robin would be in trouble. maybe it is a different situation. i’m no expert.

  100. pigeonpenelope says:

    i did some research. i don’t think its illegal to sell hamburger that is pink but i believe the meat must reach a temperature of 160 in the middle before it can be served. it does look like that hamburger was not cooked that much. i would definitely complain to the health dept.

  101. Lindie says:

    I can’t wait till we start hearing about lead tainted burgers.

  102. dakotad555 says:

    Those burgers look damn tasty. This guy should STFU and eat.
    If he really can’t get them down, he should talk to Tax Dog. He looks hungry.

  103. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Oh my god, those are practically mooing! Call PETA! Call the National Guard! Call the police! Soylent burgers is people!

  104. e coli shmecoli – ground meat is very much susceptible to e coli poisoning if it is undercooked.

  105. Spooty says:

    @jefuchs: Um, it’s “gaffe” in this context – “gaff” is something else. Irony much?

  106. Simbaah777 says:

    I used to work at a Dairy Queen for 3 years the manager would tell me to pull the meat up all bloody and put them in the meat holder but of course I would never listen as soon as they walked out I would put them burgers back on the grill and I would finish cooking them, they also would leave meat in the holder until it got all dry and rubbery and serve them. The cheese holders would be discusting so I would wash them out cuz few others would. I would make sure customers got what they paid for wether is was a blizzard or food but I also got fired cuz out manager who smokes marijuana on the clock yelled at me for nothing and I said find out whats going on before you start yelling at people she screams all the more and clocks me out so I clock myself back in I now refer to her as Mrs. Piggy I really liked working at DQ and the feeling of making sure things got made well and I also kept everything clean and sanitized. But yeah I complained to cooperate for over a week now about the manager maybe they will finally do something about it now and find a sober manager that dont yell and scream at folks.