A new study by UK’s The Daily Mail found that ice from McDonald’s, Starbucks, Burger King and KFC, to name a few, contains more bacteria than toilet water. RT’s Margaret Howell breaks down the report.
McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and Starbucks were among the chains with more bacteria in their ice than in toilet water, based on samples taken from lavatory bowls and ice machines.
Experts said the ice machines in these restaurants are likely cleaned less frequently than toilets.
While the ice at these places is no doubt bacteria-filled, it might help to have workers trained in taking sterilized samples actually, you know, collecting the sample. Moreover, this kind of study isn’t particularly novel. Some highlights from the last ten years:
• In an effort to dissuade her friends from chewing on ice — a habit she found annoying — a 12-year-old kid from Tampa devoted her 2006 middle-school science project to comparing bacterial loads in fast-food ice samples and toilet water. Jasmine Roberts won a few awards and garnered national attention with her conclusion that ice-machine ice was dirtier than toilet water 70 percent of the time.
• A local news affiliate found coliform bacteria in 13 out of 25 ice samples taken from Indianapolis-area bars in 2008.
• The U.K. Health Protection Agency found enterococci and E. coli in 30 percent of ice samples taken from 88 establishments in 2011.
• And it’s not just the innards of ice machines that harbor bad germs. All that sugar-filled plastic tubing inside soda machines can feed several gazillion colonies of bad bacteria. In 2010, for example, researchers from Hollins University in Virginia took samples of 90 drinks from 30 soda fountains located within a twenty-mile radius of Roanoke. They found coliform bacteria in 48 percent of the drinks and antibiotic-resistant E. coli in 11 percent.