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Feds Investigate McDonald’s Broken Ice Cream Machine

Franchise owners are frustrated with the machines used to make the iconic dessert which they call "overly complicated"

McDonald’s franchise owners want the government to find out why the McFlurry machines never work.

Social media has long ridiculed the burger chain for being unable to serve the popular ice cream dessert.

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached out to McDonald’s franchisees this summer to see what exactly is up with the soft serve machines. Owners of McDonald’s have said that the McFlurry devices, which blend soft serve with add-ins such as M&M’s to make a tasty frozen treat, are overly complicated and hard to fix when they break down,” according to NBC DFW.

To destroy the bacteria, the machines have to go through a four-hour-long, automated heat-cleaning cycle. The machines are unusable if the cleaning cycle fails. Store owners are then required to find a certified repair technician to fix the machines.

“Intrinsic to the interest in our soft serve machines is our fans’ love of McDonald’s iconic McFlurry desserts and shakes … Nothing is more important to us than delivering on our high standards for food quality and safety, which is why we work with fully vetted partners that can reliably provide safe solutions at scale. McDonald’s has no reason to believe we are the focus of an FTC investigation,” said McDonald in a statement to TODAY Food.

In July, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that encouraged the FTC to create new rules surrounding the “right to repair.” 

The term refers to a “series of rules that in theory would force phone developers, manufacturers of cars and washing machines and the makers of pricey farm equipment and medical devices to publicly post the diagnostic tools and documentation they use to fix products when they break. This would allow everyday people to either fix the product themselves or go to a third-party repair shop, rather than rely on ‘official’ authorized repair centers, which are almost always the most expensive option,” per CNET.

These regulations prevent franchise owners from repairing the machines necessary to offer soft serve and McFlurries themselves.

In addition to allowing capable owners to make repairs, a change in the policies will incentivize competition and, in turn, drive down prices.

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