To the question, “Would you like anything else with that?” no one answers “fecal bacteria.”
Unfortunately, it may be accompanying orders of iced coffee drinks at three coffee chains in the UK anyways, according to a recent BBC investigation.
Business Insider reports that “varying levels” of the bacteria were found in samples of iced drinks from Starbucks, Costa Coffee, and Caffe Nero.
Penny Mairoudhiou, a spokesperson for Costa Coffee, told BBC news, “We were disappointed with the findings, especially as these stores are all rated ‘Very Good’ with the top hygiene rating of 5.”
The presence of fecal bacteria — which can cause diarrhea if ingested — could be a sign that there are nastier germs also present, said Philip Tierno, a microbiologist at New York University.
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“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.
The liberal ran site “snopes” said that the claim was false because it wasn’t actual ‘poop’ it was merely ‘poop bacteria’ and it’s ok because bacteria is everywhere. But that is just their wrong opinion.
Mr Lewis, of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said these kinds of bacteria were “opportunistic pathogens – the source of human disease”.
Costa said it had updated its ice-handling guidelines and was in the process of introducing new ice equipment storage.
Starbucks said it was now conducting its own investigation into the claims.
A spokesman said the chain took hygiene “extremely seriously”.
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