FTC investigating McDonald’s and why their ice cream machines are “always broken”

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Trade Commission is looking into why McDonald’s ice cream machines are always broken.

The FTC has sent letters to McDonald’s franchises this past summer, reports the WSJ, regarding what’s going on with their ice cream machines.

Franchise owners have reportedly complained that the ice cream machines are “complicated” and that fixing them when they break is “hard”.

“The machines require a nightly automated heat-cleaning cycle that can last up to four hours to destroy bacteria. The cleaning cycle can fail, making the machines unusable until a repair technician can get them going again, owners say,” reported the WSJ.

WSJ says McDonald’s claims to understand the frustrations and has devoted a team to solving the issue. Still, franchise owners tell the WSJ that they are tired of being the butt of many jokes.

“The McDonald’s ice cream machine is always broke” is an oft-referenced joke. Many late-night TV hosts, from Jimmy Fallon to Steven Colbert, have joked about the issue.  Even fast-food rivals such as Wendy’s and Burger King have taken shots at McDonald’s over the broken ice cream machines.