Next time you splurge your calories on a cup of soda from your local fast food chain, make sure to hold the ice! Investigators from the BBC show Watchdog found traces of fecal bacteria in 10 ice samples at McDonald's, Burger King, and KFC restaurants in the United Kingdom. Each joint’s samples tested positive for fecal coliform—bacteria found in poop—of which was found in “significant” levels in Burger King and KFC.
"We are shocked and extremely disappointed by these results," a KFC spokesperson admitted in response to the nauseating news. "We have strict procedures for the management and handling of ice, including daily and weekly inspections and cleaning of the ice machine and storage holds, as well as the routine testing of ice quality across our business."
Burger King also responded similarly, stating, "Cleanliness and hygiene are a top priority for the Burger King brand. The strict procedures we have in place are designed to ensure all Guests have a positive experience each time they visit our restaurants.”
McDonald’s tried to point out the silver lining by citing professor of bacteriology and food safety, Tom Humphrey: "It is pleasing that Escherichia coli (E. coli), the bacterium that is the most accurate and reliable indicator of fecal contamination, was not found in any ice samples from McDonald's restaurants. Low levels of two other indicator bacteria, coliforms and enterococci, were found in some ice samples. These can be used as an assessment of water hygiene but, as they are widely distributed in the natural environment, they are not reliable indicators of potential health risks.”
Although the contaminated samples were present in the UK restaurants, we can’t help but wonder whether ice from our local Mickey D’s, KFC, and BK also contain these bacterial offenders. If this isn’t a scary enough reason to skip the drive-thru, find out exactly Why You Should Be Worried About The Chemicals In Your Hamburger.