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While Chipotle battles a suspected norovirus outbreak in Loudoun County, Virginia, a British investigation discovered a sickening fact about three American fast food chains. After sampling ice from drinks at these popular chains, researchers discovered something that may want to hurl your lunch. They found evidence that ice cold drinks at Burger King, KFC and McDonald’s are contaminated with human fecal matter. And it gets worse…
To make their claim, the investigators sampled 10 different things at these restaurants looking for microbes. When the results were compared, KFC was the dirtiest. Seven out of ten samples tested positive indicating that the majority of customers are drinking fecal matter.
Meanwhile Burger King was about as bad with six out of ten samples testing positive for human fecal matter. And McDonald’s still failed the test with three out of ten samples indicting the presence of poop.
The problem comes from how these fast food restaurants produce ice. While safety standards are in place for unfrozen drinking water, nothing protects the customer from the water in the ice. This is why the fast food chains haven’t bothered to step up their safety game and improve the customer experience. They weren’t forced – legally – to do it.
Now advocates hope to make that change, so people are not drinking poop at these restaurants.
“[We] welcome the introduction of an agreed standard and would be happy to work with relevant industry bodies,” a McDonald’s spokesperson told Business Inside after news of their contaminate ice went viral.
When a human consume fecal bacteria, it can cause diarrhea. But the biggest danger in this case is that the presence of so much fecal matter in the ice at Burger King, KFC and McDonald’s means that other pathogens could be getting into the food production process too. These include the norovirus, hepatitis A and Salmonella.
“Where there are fecal bacteria present it is an indicator that there could be other germs that are pathogenic [or illness-causing] like Norovirus or hepatitis A or Salmonella that can make you sick,” Philip Tierno, a microbiologist, told Business Insider.
As a consumer, you should avoid ice when eating at fast food restaurants. Health safety measures are not in place to protect the average consumer. Although you probably don’t want a room temperature drink, you probably want to skip the ice unless you’re comfortable drinking fecal matter.
A bottled drink could be a safer alternative. Although they’re more expensive, they go through more rigorous health safety checks than the ice served at the drink fountain.
When the report was released, KFC shut down the ice machines at the locations that tested positive for poop. Meanwhile, Burger King has issued a statement to Business Inside:
“This report is an opportunity for us to emphasize our training procedures and ensure all operations and safety standards are upheld in all Burger King restaurants.”
Do you think you’ll ever trust your drinks at these fast food chains ever again?
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