The Federal Trade Commission is looking into the case of the McDonald’s broken McFlurry machines. The problem has been the butt of late-night jokes. Wendy’s and Jack in the Box have even targeted McDonald’s on social media. The problem’s been so persistent there’s a website called McBroken (see below) which tracks ice cream machine outages across the country. The problem? McDonald’s ice cream machines are overly complicated to operate and incredibly difficult to clean, often making them susceptible to breaking down. According to the Wall Street Journal the machines require a nightly automated heat-cleaning cycle that can last up to 4 hours to get rid of the bacteria. And, when the cleaning cycle fails, the machines become useless until a repairman comes along.
… But the FTC’s apparently had enough. It sent a letter to franchisees earlier this summer. In the letter, obtained by the WSJ, the agency wants to know how McDonald’s reviews suppliers and equipment, including the ice cream machines.