Dairy Queen is a must for many people during the summer season. Indeed, this is the ideal place to order one of their popular Blizzards or soft ice cream. But if you are used to going to Dairy Queen with the kids or even with your lover, you know that the menu of this restaurant chain goes beyond frozen dessert. However, you should be careful about what you choose to eat the next time you go to Dairy Queen. Indeed, some choices among the menu of the DQ could displease even the least difficult palates…
1. Burgers could make you sick
You’d think a basic hamburger would be pretty hard to miss, wouldn’t you? Usually, this is part of the menu of all fast-food chains. However, it seems that the Dairy Queen is missing it. Restaurant critics have noticed the particular texture of their hamburgers, their charred taste, and soaking wet buns, while former employees talk about hamburgers that spend too much time in the frying pan. What is really disturbing, however, are complaints from customers who claim that their burgers have caused them serious symptoms of food poisoning.
2. Maybe the chicken is raw
According to the Center for Disease Control, raw or undercooked chicken is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness. This is not really new to most of us, whose mothers have all warned us never to eat pink chicken.
For several years, dissatisfied customers have been using social media to bring back raw or undercooked chicken strips from Dairy Queen, some of them even displaying photos to prove they are not exaggerating. However, a man from Indianapolis went further than displaying an online diatribe. When Zach Cruse found a strip of uncooked chicken in his order, he brought it back to DQ corporate. As a result of his complaint, the employee in charge was dismissed and the local health department initiated an investigation into the restaurant’s food preparation procedures.
3. Ice cream machines are a fertile breeding ground for bacteria
If there is one thing that makes DQ famous, it is the ice cream it has been serving since the opening of its first restaurant in 1940. Did you know that what makes ice cream soft is the extra air you add to it? This is done using a rather complicated machine that can accommodate all kinds of bad bacteria. It turns out that the machines are actually very difficult to clean completely. A worker who repairs the machines used to make soft ice cream said he would never allow his family to eat the product because of the difficulty of disinfecting them enough to kill most bacteria. The most unhealthy part of these machines, he said, were the nozzles, because they clog up with foul-smelling green dirt.
4. Chili and cheese hot dogs are a culinary horror
A food critic from Business Insider magazine, who has tasted some of the worst food that fast-food restaurants have tasted over the years, always says the worst thing she has ever tried is Dairy Queen’s chili and cheese hot dog. She was not impressed by the small amount of chili and the barely melted and crusty cheese, but what really impressed her was the so-called meat inside the bread. She didn’t think it tasted like a hot dog, even bad. Another taster described the hot dog as tasting like a three-week-old hot dog. A former DQ employee admitted that hot dogs were used “endlessly” and even reheated to serve the next day if they were not all sold at closing time.
5. You should read this ingredient
In addition to milk, sugar and corn syrup, there is a special ingredient in DQ ice cream. Carrageenan is one of the hard to pronounce ingredients added to the famous soft portion of DQ. The ingredient, which comes from red seaweed, is often added to dairy products to prevent them from separating. DQ and other dairy companies add carrageenan to their ice cream to give it a thicker consistency. But as Prevention pointed out, although the ingredient is FDA approved for use in food, it essentially has no nutritional value. And the same ingredient has also been associated with intestinal irritation and inflammation, as well as cancer in laboratory animals.
6. Salads are not worth it
Dairy Queen, like just about every other fast-food chain, offers a few salads on its menu as a healthy option. The problem with ordering a salad from DQ is that you will certainly not get what you are paying for.
A DQ employee, said anonymously on Reddit, that this meal was made of “old lettuce, cabbage, carrots, and even old grilled chicken”. In addition, the same employee revealed a menu change around 2016, a sneaky downsizing maneuver in which the quantities of salad were reduced, but the bowls were redesigned to hide this.
Besides, the salad wouldn’t be that healthy. All salads contain 270 to 400 calories and 11 to 21 grams of fat, without any seasoning. If you choose another hot Italian vinaigrette, you will add more than 100 calories and 10 grams of extra fat.
7. Banana Split Blizzard is disastrous
In 2018, a panel of tasters from The Takeout gourmet website decided to rank 19 different blizzards, and the last one to arrive, scoring only one of the 20 possible taste points, was the Banana Split Blizzard. The most succinct criticism was that it is disastrous, but an additional explanation revealed its watery consistency and its sour taste of overripe bananas. The strawberry and chocolate aromas were considered weak, and the pineapple was not perceptible at all. The conclusion was that this particular Blizzard was a big failure.
8. Chicken and waffles are disappointing
This dish is extremely disappointing. Food critics were not impressed by the size and number of waffles, one Facebook commentator even noticed that they seemed frozen. Customers also noticed the price, finding it far too high for an appetizer that does not even include a drink. Other complaints related to too much sugar, syrup leaking out of the box and superfluous fries. Although DQ chicken and waffles are only available for a limited time, it remains to be seen if anyone will really miss this dish…
9. Fish sandwiches are bland and boring
Dairy Queen does not always offer seafood on its menu, but it tries to make sure that there is a fish sandwich available during Lent. As it should be, these sandwiches seem to be a kind of penance in themselves. Business Insider has reviewed Dairy Queenfish sandwiches several times. In 2016, one critic said that these sandwiches had a weak bun, soaked lettuce, bland tartar sauce, and fish that could easily be mistaken for chicken.
10. “Artisanal” sandwiches are just bad sandwiches
You know that a food trend is, or should be, disappearing when it spreads through fast-food chains. At the end of the 1970s, all of a sudden, all gourmets started talking about “crafts”. As a result, Dairy Queen decided to launch its own “artisanal” sandwich line, with results that were… finally, predictable. Business Insider found that the chicken and bacon sandwich was soaked and submerged in mayonnaise.
11. There is nothing fat-free or sugar-free in this menu
When DQ tried to attract calorie-conscious customers by launching a frozen yogurt version of their famous Blizzard, it was not well received. As reported in the Daily Meal, Dairy Queen launched the Breeze in 1990. But frozen yogurt was removed from the menu 10 years later, in 2000, due to poor sales. Although there are no sugar-free options, there are a few items with no added sugar such as Fudge Bar, Vanilla Orange Bar and Chocolate Dilly Bar.
12. Breakfast trays are very greasy and caloric
Do you want to start your day with a healthy dose of fat and calories? DQ has thought of you! While Bodybuilding.com has characterized this sausage tray as the worst absolute breakfast dish on the DQ menu, it turns out that the tray with the bacon is even worse. The sausage platter has 1060 calories and 38 grams of fat, while the bacon version is available at 1150 calories and 39 grams of fat. In fact, when it comes to fat alone, there’s yet another contender: the ultimate hashish with bacon tray contains only 1,030 calories, but an incredible, and perhaps fatal, amount of 43 grams of fat.
No one expects anything healthy when they go to DQ for dessert, but it’s still shocking to see how bad some of their desserts are. Check their nutritional information and you will find decent items (such as their fruit smoothies), but even a medium-sized MooLatte is likely to consume between 20 and 30 grams of fat and about 100 grams of sugar.
14. A DQ ice cream cake is pretty easy to do at home
One thing that DQ certainly doesn’t want you to know is how easy it is to make your own ice cream cake with all the types of ice cream you want. According to the Brown Eyed Baker, it’s just a matter of getting the right consistency from the ice cream before putting it in a cake pan, and you opt for a slightly soft cream. Put it in your frying pan with the layers you want (you can use things like crumbled cookies or sauce usually reserved for toppings), and the trick is to refreeze your cake between the ice cream layers. Garnish with whipped cream, sprinkles, candies or fruits, and you not only have an imitation of the DQ cake, but one that you have made to your own taste!
15. They’ve had their share of food poisoning claims
Eating at Dairy Queen also means risking being served something that makes you sick from the first bite. In 2014, ABC Denver reported that a 7-year-old boy was taken to hospital after eating a DQ milkshake that began to “bubble” on his tongue. Her mother tasted the milkshake, and said, “It looked like you were drinking a very strong cleanser, then the burn started instantly. She complained – as did many others – and discovered that an employee had left a bucket to soak in a floor cleaning and degreasing solution. Another employee thought the bucket was clean, then used it for vanilla syrup….
16. Royal Reese Brownie Blizzard is extremely caloric
No one goes to Dairy Queen and orders a Blizzard thinking they’re eating something healthy and nutritious. They are just delicious caloric bombs and we all know it. From time to time, you have to enjoy yourself, don’t you? However, you should know that Royal Reese Brownie Blizzard contains 1500 calories!
This represents 75% of the 2,000 calories per day recommended by the Federal Food and Drug Administration. In fact, the FDA classifies any food over 400 calories as “high-calorie”, so what would it think of this Blizzard?
17. French fries are edible
DQ fries also do not have a very good reputation. The Daily Hive called them “good”, but ranked them 9th on a list of 10 Canadian channels. The LA Times ranked them 7th out of 19, but noted that the “flavor is not particularly remarkable”. A blogger on the Odyssey website called them “soaking wet, lifeless[and] unseasoned”.