Would you like a side of POOP with your order?


Just a few weeks after BBC researchers discovered fecal matter in the ice used at coffee shops around the U.K., the same team has now found “varying levels” of the same bacteria in ice served at McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC chains in the country.

According to the BBC: 

“In the U.K., coliform bacteria detected in any water used for human consumption is a violation of DEFRA rules. (DEFRA is the government department that regulates water standards in the U.K.) Although some harmless types of bacteria are allowed in drinking water in the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency strictly prohibits coliform in water consumed by humans.”

Um, gee thanks pals, always looking out for us, I see!

The other two fast-food chains in the U.K. were found to have even higher levels of coliform bacteria. At Burger King, customers had it their way with six out 10 ice samples containing coliform bacteria while seven out of 10 ice samples at KFC tested positive for coliform bacteria contamination.

Fecal coliforms are bacteria that form in the intestines of warm-blooded animals and are capable of growing in the harsh, acidic conditions of the digestive tract. An example of a fecal coliform is Escherichia coli (E. coli), some variations of which can cause serious food poisoning.

The researchers also tested cleanliness of tables, trays and high chairs at 30 branches of each chain.

“The level of contamination of fecal bacteria concerns me a great deal. The bacteria are opportunistic pathogens—the source of human disease. These should not be present at any level, never mind the significant numbers found,” Tony Lewis, a spokesman for the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

McDonald’s admitted that coliform bacteria—or microbes found in the digestive systems of warm-blooded animals, and in soil, plants and surface water – was discovered in ice. However, a spokesperson for the fast-food chain said in a statement that no traces of E. coli, another type of harmful fecal bacteria, were found in ice, per a statement recently released by McDonald’s.

“Like many U.K. food retailers, our ice is made by freezing drinking water using commercial ice machines. As the investigation highlights, there are no specific ice production standards in place, only those relating to unfrozen drinking water. We would, therefore, welcome the introduction of an agreed standard and would be happy to work with relevant industry bodies,” the statement said.

Sponsored Links

Meanwhile, a representative from Burger King said that the company would be using the incident as an “opportunity to emphasize our training procedures and ensure all operations and safety standards are upheld.” As for KFC, restaurants all across the U.K. have shut down ice machines at affected locations in response to the findings until they can be cleaned and inspected again.

Recently, according to the same BBC group, fecal bacteria was found in seven out of 10 samples of ice at popular U.K. coffee chain Costa Coffee, while Starbucks and Caffè Nero were found to have fecal contamination in three out of 10 samples.

Sponsored Links

Recommended for you

Comments are closed.