Why You Should Think Twice About Eating Dairy Queen Chicken

If you're a die-hard Dairy Queen fan, we apologize for bursting your bubble, but there's reason why you may want to find a new restaurant to fawn over. While DQs everywhere are mostly famous for their ice cream concoctions, you may want to steer clear of any of their chicken products (and while you're at it, probably their burgers, chili dogs, and other menu items as well). 

The reason? Unfortunately, Dairy Queen reportedly has a history of less-than-stellar food incidents — including being the alleged source of a lawsuit over a burger that made a Texas man so sick he had more than $20,000 in medical bills (via The Dallas Morning News). But, even if you avoid their standard food items and stick to ice cream, there still may be some concerns. 

DQ's soft-serve machines have reportedly had issues with meeting health-code inspections in the past, says Guardian Liberty Voice. So it might be time to rethink that Blizzard and stick to a local ice cream place to get your sweet tooth fix.

DQ's chicken might be raw

When it comes to chicken in particular, Dairy Queen is allegedly a repeat offender for serving up raw poultry to its customers — and it isn't isolated to just one menu item. Some people have reportedly received chicken tenders that were absolutely pink on the inside, like a case from Indiana reported by WRTV. The employee that served those tenders was fired, but unfortunately, this isn't the first or last offense by the chain.

Another woman posted on the Dairy Queen Facebook page, claiming she received raw chicken in her chicken strip basket, to which Dairy Queen simply suggested to contact the management of the store. Yet another customer posted on Yelp the same complaint alongside an image of raw chicken that her daughter had received in her order. 

Sadly, the list continues: This person on Reddit says that they took a bite of a chicken sandwich only to realize that the meat was freezing cold and totally raw. They posted a picture that, frankly, could send shivers down your spine. A few TripAdvisor reviews have also complained of being served raw, undercooked chicken, too. Yikes! With so many reports, it would seem that Dairy Queen would take steps to change their chicken-preparation protocol, but there has been no public information as to whether or not that has been done.

Even shift managers recommend avoiding ordering chicken around closing time

Even the employees working at Dairy Queen recommend against eating the chicken. (Typically, when someone that works at an establishment won't eat something made there, it's because they know something the general public does not.) 

In one case, a shift manager posted on Quora why he would recommend avoiding chicken close to the end of the day: "I would also stay away from our grilled chicken closer to closing time. The chicken is pre-cooked and just needs to be warmed up. Usually this would be done by placing it directly onto the grill. But as it gets closer to closing we have to bring back dishes to be washed for the night. So usually when the last chicken is used I bring back the tray to be washed and heat up the chicken in the microwave if I need one." 

Nobody should be spending their hard-earned money on pre-cooked, microwaved chicken! Maybe consider a different item, like a burger, if you're grabbing food from Dairy Queen late at night.

Why eating raw chicken is a big problem

In the greater context of the case of raw chicken, it's important to note there's a number of risks when it comes to consuming undercooked or raw meat or poultry. Chicken is the leading cause of food-borne illness according to the CDC, so eating raw chicken is not something to take lightly or leave up to chance. The CDC further estimates via this story that about 1 million people get sick annually from eating contaminated poultry. 

So when it comes to Dairy Queen, maybe opt for another menu item out of safety. The burgers, ice cream, and other yummy menu items have less notoriety for being undercooked or improperly prepared, so those may be a better bet. Plus, when there are so many other awesome places out there specializing in chicken (see the ongoing fast food chicken wars), there's no shortage of good picks.