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Add this to the list of potential health reasons to avoid fast food: fecal bacteria.
A recent BBC investigation reportedly found traces of the bacteria in samples of iced drinks from Burger King, KFC, and McDonald’s.
British investigators tested 10 samples at each of the chains for traces of the microbes. KFC fared the worst, with seven of its samples coming up positive for the bacteria. Burger King tested positive in six samples, and McDonald’s tested positive in three.
A spokesperson for McDonald’s told Business Insider that there are currently no specific health standards in place when it comes to ice production – the only regulations that exist are for unfrozen drinking water. “We would therefore welcome the introduction of an agreed standard and would be happy to work with relevant industry bodies,” they said.
The findings come just a month after the same investigation team found traces of fecal bacteria in samples of iced drinks from Starbucks and two other popular UK coffee chains.
“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,” Tierno told Business Insider.
It also suggests that workers at the chains are not keeping themselves clean and that they “have dirty bare hands,” he said.
In response to the reports, KFC has shut down its ice machines at the chains that tested positive and has inspected and cleaned ice machines in all of its other locations across the UK, a spokesperson for the company told Business Insider.
“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,” a Burger King representative told Business Insider.