AUBURN, Alabama -- The death of a 3-year-old girl was ruled accidental after she fell into a grease pit at a local Bruster's ice cream parlor while playing on the store property on Saturday.
The case is leading investigators to review safety precautions for similar setups at junk food joints nationwide to prevent anyone else from having to die through submersion in fat.
“I've never heard of any child being able to open the cover to any of these stinky-ass grease holes,” said Franklin Rodenbacher, acting assistant director of Auburn's wastewater treatment. “This don't seem right.”
Outdoor grease pits are the large-scale version of typical restaurant equipment, often placed under kitchen sinks, for segregating fat from regular wastewater before it flows into the sewage system.
A Bruster's spokesman told this publication that the franchise's kit was “probably” in accordance with local safety regulations, but he couldn't be sure. “There's way too much regulation, anyway,” he added.
A large underground grease pit outside suggests that fried food also might be on the menu here. But not so. It is apparently only the Bruster's ice cream, made from a “milk-based mix” at each location, that necessitates an industrial-scale management of fat rests that borders on the absurd.
"This shit will make you pork up in no time," said Sharon Sharinson, a local pediatrician. "Now someone literally drowned in the excess grease. It's just wrong, and I hope somebody will look into it."
Bruster's bills itself as a kid-friendly establishment, writing on its website: “Life is fun. There’s dessert, there’s the playground, there’s video gaming, there’s dessert.”