What do McDonald’s, KFC and Starbucks have in common?
They have some lip-smacking foods.
Okay. I will tell you.
The soda machines in these outlets contain more bacteria than that in toilet water.
In case you are just returning from one of these outlets, and want to go and puke, it’s fine. I can wait.
The above statement might come as a shock to you, especially if you are a frequent visitor to any of these fast-food joints.
Where Is The Proof?
According to a study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology, over half of the 90 beverages in soda fountain machines in one area in Virginia tested positive for coliform bacteria (something similar to that found in faecal matter).
And guess what? This is in one area of Virginia alone.
This stomach-churning revelation is something similar to the one done in 2008. Back then, it was found that over two-thirds of all the lemon wedges served in restaurants contained disease causing bacteria (some even the same as the ones found on faecal matter).
What Is The Reason?
The reason is obvious. Toilets are being cleaned more often than restaurant soda ice machines. Because toilets are visible from the outside; and the insides of a restaurant ice machine aren’t.
Moreover, the chances of a customer fuming at the restaurant after viewing a dirty toilet are more than that of a customer doing the same seeing the insides of a soda machine.
Because he won’t be able to see the insides of a soda machine. Quite a good enough reason for the restaurant owners to ignore their cleanliness completely.
Also, the consumers as well as the employees tend to touch the ice in the ice machine with their hands which can pollute the ice.
Other Experimental Findings
Not just the experts, even students and other regular customers had happened to discover this severely unappetizing issue.
- In 2008, a local newsman found disease causing bacteria in 13 out of 25 samples taken from bars in Indianapolis.
- A 12 year old school girl from Tampa dedicated her school project to testing ice samples from fast-food joints and the water in their toilets, and comparing the two. What the findings revealed created sensation at that time. The ice from the fast-food joints seemed to contain more bacteria than that in toilet water 70 percent of the time.
- In 2010, student researchers from the Hollins University in Virginia, took samples of 90 drinks from 30 soda fountains. Over 48 percent of the drinks contained disease causing bacteria.
What Can Be Done?
Firstly every fast food chain should make it mandatory that the soda ice machines be cleaned on a regular basis. This would prevent bacterial growth and eliminate any possibility of contamination.
The fast food restaurants should also make sure their employees wash hands every time before handling the dishes.
Avoid consumption from ice soda machines. They are not good for your health anyway.
Most of us are so inclined towards fast foods and junk that we seldom bother about the host of dangers these foods carry. Mesmerized by the illusory glamour these fast food joins have, we almost always come under the impression that the foods they serve are as hygienic as the place itself.
Sometimes we might be right. But sometimes we might be wrong too.
So the next time you are about to slurp that cold drink from the cup, stop and think. You might be consuming something you wouldn’t even have imagined in your wildest dreams.