19 Action News investigates fryer safety at North Ridgeville Dairy Queen

19 Action News investigates fryer safety at North Ridgeville Dairy Queen

NORTH RIDGEVILLE, OH (WOIO) - A tip came to 19 Action News on Sunday that a deep fryer inside a Dairy Queen on Center Ridge Road in North Ridgeville was malfunctioning and had become a safety risk.

After reaching out to the Lorain County Health Department, they dropped by for a surprise inspection.

"I looked at the deep fryer and noticed a heavy accumulation of dried up oil on the bottom of the fryer," said Scott Pozna, with the health department. 

The health department advised Dairy Queen to remove the fryer and said inspectors would be back to check. They also alerted the North Ridgeville Fire Department.

"On June 30, a service technician working on the fryers at the North Ridgeville Dairy Queen diagnosed a small shortening leak from the filter system under the unit and provided us with a several thousand dollar repair estimate," said Dairy Queen owner Dan Pierson.

Instead of repairing the old unit, new fryers were ordered. While they waited for their arrival, old fryers were inspected each morning.

On Monday during start up, a small fire was spotted under the unit and quickly extinguished. The same day, health inspectors arrived and asked that the old fryer be discarded.

On Tuesday, the fire department asked Dairy Queen to remove the malfunctioning deep fryer. Dairy Queen then took it out of service.

Pierson says at no time were any customers or employees in danger. 

Ponza says Dairy Queen and owner Dan Pierson were very good in responding to the health department's requests.

"They were waiting for a replacement that they now have. The situation has been abated. They were very pleasant to work with. No problems," added Pozna.

The deep fryers have been switched. Thanks to a 19 Action News viewer, this Dairy Queen is safe again.

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