If you’re currently enjoying an iced coffee from a major chain, you may want to set it down after reading this. Researchers decided to test the ice used in the U.K from three major chains including Starbucks and found something unpleasant inside the ice. The tested ice, 3 out of 10 samples taken from Starbucks and Caffee Nero were contaminated with bacteria found in human fecal matter. Worse 7 out of 10 samples from Costa Coffee were contaminated.
The bacteria found were fecal coliforms which form inside the intestines of mammals. A famous example of a fecal coliform is Escherichia coli or E.coli. It’s well documented that E.coli can cause some pretty severe food poisoning but to be fair the bacteria found in the ice at the coffee chains did not contain E.coli, let’s look on the bright side.
Along with testing ice samples, researchers also took a look at the cleanliness of trays, tables, and chairs using a sample of 30 stores from each chain.
“The level of contamination of fecal bacteria concerns me a great deal.” Said Tony Lewis who is a spokesperson for the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. “The bacteria are opportunistic pathogens – the source of human disease. These should not be present at any level, never mind the significant numbers found.”
After the results were published, the three chains in question say they are taking action. “All employees nationwide have received updated training on our high standards of hygiene including ice handling.” Said a spokesperson for Starbucks who say they are performing an internal investigation and that hygiene is always taken seriously.
Spokespersons from the other two chains also expressed concerns with the results of the investigation and are working with their staffs to update training and restore consumers faith in their businesses.
Hopefully, all that new training means that consumers in the U.K will no longer be consuming fecal bacteria along with their iced lattes.