Gather round, folks, and get the giggles out now because it’s time to talk about everyone’s favorite topic: poop.
After finding it in beards & coffee, researchers at BBC “Watchdog” uncovered another uncomfortable place where fecal bacteria love to hide: drinks purchased at McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King in the UK.
The team tested ice from 10 random branches of each restaurant across the UK and found coliforms in ice at 3/10 branches of McDonald’s, 6/10 branches of Burger King and 7/10 branches of KFC.
Fecal coliforms are bacteria which contain “opportunistic pathogens — the source of human disease,” according to expert Tony Lewis.
“It’s extremely worrying. When we’re finding the sorts of numbers we’re finding here, you have to look at the people making the ice, handling the ice, which they then transfer into customers’ drinks,” he said.
“And then you also have to look at hygiene failure with potentially the machines themselves: are they being kept clean?”
Three weeks ago, experts also found coliforms in ice from drinks purchased at Costa Coffee, Starbucks, and Caffe Nero.
All three food chains involved in the most recent investigation reacted to it with strong, unambiguous statements:
A KFC spokesperson said they were “extremely disappointed” by the results.
A spokesperson for McDonald’s said: “We have robust procedures in place with regard to the production, storage and handling of ice in our UK restaurants.”
A Burger King spokesperson said: “Cleanliness and hygiene are a top priority for the Burger King brand.”
However, if grosses you out, we have more bad news: Poop is literally everywhere.
In fact, a recent study revealed that — surprise, surprise — our toilets may be the most poop-free places in our homes for the simple reasons that we (hopefully) tend to clean them quite regularly.
As Philip M. Tierno a microbiologist at New York University and author of The Secret Life of Germs told the NYmag in 2015: “We, as a society, are literally bathed in feces. Wherever a man touches, there are feces and fecal organisms present.”
Just give it a minute to digest (!) that statement.
The NYmag article goes on listing all the places you’re not really expecting to find poop, including:
Your coffee mug
Your kitchen sponge
Your cutting boards
Your bag or purse
Your underwear (a lot)
In other words, this anti-poop fight is pointless. Sorry.