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More Bacteria in Ice Than Toilets in 6 Out of 10 UK Restaurants 

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Old 06-02-2013, 07:34 PM
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More Bacteria in Ice Than Toilets in 6 Out of 10 UK Restaurants

By Ben Ellery

PUBLISHED: 18:05 EST, 1 June 2013

The ice served in six out of ten of Britain’s most popular high street restaurants contains more bacteria than the water found in their toilets, an investigation by The Mail on Sunday has found.

Scientific tests have shown that ice from branches of McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Starbucks, Cafe Rouge and Nando’s all had higher levels of bacteria than samples of water taken from their lavatory bowls. Experts say it could be due to them being cleaned more often than the ice machines.

None of the samples found presented an immediate health danger, but four contained such high levels of microbes the restaurants should be considered a, ‘hygiene risk’, according to a Government-accredited laboratory.

'Poor hygeine': Ice served in six out of ten of Britain's most popular high street restaurants contains more bacteria than the water found in their toilets. Reporter Ben Ellery pictured in Basigstoke, Hants., with samples from Burger King

The samples from McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King and Nando’s all suggested, ‘poor hygiene,’ over their ice, the laboratory said.

In the cases of Nando’s and Burger King, the levels of bacteria in ice were more than double than that which the scientists said they expect to see in drinking water.

For the tests, staff were asked to provide a sample of ice in a sterile bag. A sample of water in the restaurant toilet was also taken by an accredited environmental health practitioner.

The samples, obtained from branches of ten chains in Basingstoke, Hampshire, were then couriered in a fridge to Microtech Services Wessex in Bournemouth, Dorset, for testing.

HOW THEY COMPARED

NANDO'S More bacteria in ice than toilets. Tests on ice water at 22C: 2,100 organisms. Toilet water: 1,300 organisms.

BURGER KING More bacteria in ice than toilets. Ice bacteria at 37C: 260 organisms. Toilet water: Within drinking water regulations.

McDONALD'S More bacteria in ice than toilets. Ice bacteria at 22C: 1,400 organisms. Toilet water at 37C: 260 organisms.

KFC More bacteria in ice than toilets. Tests on ice water at 22C: 1,100 organisms. Toilet water: Less than 1.

CAFE ROUGE More bacteria in ice than toilets, but not above laboratory’s hygiene guidelines. Toilet water: Less than 1.

STARBUCKS More bacteria in ice than toilets but within laboratory hygiene guidelines.

PIZZA HUT Bacteria in ice at 22C: 430 organisms. Toilet water exceeded drinking water standards.

PIZZA EXPRESS Bacteria in ice insignificant. Toilet water: 3,200 organisms at 22C, highest in study.

GOURMET BURGER KITCHEN Bacteria in ice insignificant. Toilet water: Within bacteria count guidelines.

WAGAMAMA Ice bacteria at both temperatures less than 10 organisms. Toilet water at 37C: 160 organisms.
All per ML

Experts said the samples from McDonald’s, KFC, and Nando’s showed that contamination was likely to have been caused by ‘environmental issues’, such as a dirty ice machine.

The Burger King result suggested the cause was human contamination, likely to be from a staff member failing to wash their hands.

The results have prompted some of the chains to review their cleaning procedures, although two companies disputed the findings.

Dr Melody Greenwood, a former laboratory director for the Health Protection Agency, said the results show restaurants need to ensure staff are properly trained to handle ice.

‘This is a warning,’ she said. ‘It is easy to forget ice can carry bacteria because they think it is too cold for germs, but that is far from the truth.

Nasty bugs such as E.coli can lurk in ice machines. In some cases, such as Nando’s, we found double the amount of bacteria we would expect to find, [in drinking water]. This is caused by things such as a failure to clean machines and scoops used by staff.’

The samples were tested for pathogens and their total bacteria counts at 22C and 37C. Higher counts at 37C are often associated with contamination by human or animal contact, such as meat in the kitchen. Raised 22C counts are usually due to environmental organisms and can indicate a failure to clean ice machines.

At 22C, Nando’s had the highest bacterial levels. The laboratory’s guidelines recommend no more than 1,000 organisms per ml of liquid. Nando’s had 2,100, McDonald’s 1,400, and KFC 1,100.

At 37C, guidelines state that levels exceeding 100 organisms per ml show evidence of poor hygiene. Burger King was the only one to surpass the limit, with 260 organisms.

Scientists say there is a satisfactory level of bacteria that can be higher than that found in toilet water. The ice quality at Starbucks and Cafe Rouge fell into this category.

A Burger King spokesman said, ‘We are working with the franchisee to investigate the situation.’ A spokesperson for the franchisee that operates the KFC said, ‘We have retrained staff on procedures as a precaution.’

At Cafe Rouge a spokesman said, ‘We take such issues very seriously and have immediately taken actions to review the ice-making process at this restaurant.’

Tested: Ice from branches of McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Starbucks, Cafe Rouge and Nando's all had higher levels of bacteria than samples of water taken from their lavatory bowls.

And a McDonald’s spokesman said, ‘The ice tested contained low levels of common bacteria considered acceptable and safe for consumption.’
Starbucks said the ice sample had inadvertently been contaminated by staff when they opened the sterile bag. A spokesman said, ‘CCTV footage confirms that it was contaminated before it was tested.’

A Nando’s spokesman said, ‘We challenge these results and do not accept that they demonstrate any failings.’


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2V6HgzkcR

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Old 06-02-2013, 08:15 PM
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Re: More Bacteria in Ice Than Toilets in 6 Out of 10 UK Restaurants

its probably the same here in the US, we love our fountain sodas

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Old 06-02-2013, 08:33 PM
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Re: More Bacteria in Ice Than Toilets in 6 Out of 10 UK Restaurants

You'd be surprised how unclean ice machines are. They're designed so that they should have a periodic clean cycle ran with a chemical treatment. Of course most places I've been to service the equipment rarely if ever do so. Some I've opened even have a layer of sediment and a green layer of algae in the water trough.
Needless to say, I avoid these places when I go out to eat.

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Old 06-02-2013, 09:29 PM
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Re: More Bacteria in Ice Than Toilets in 6 Out of 10 UK Restaurants

The same goes for draft beer.

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Old 06-02-2013, 09:31 PM
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Re: More Bacteria in Ice Than Toilets in 6 Out of 10 UK Restaurants

I always get bottled stuff cause I hate using ice machines and fountain sodas. Not that that's any better but yuck

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Old 06-03-2013, 12:51 AM
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Re: More Bacteria in Ice Than Toilets in 6 Out of 10 UK Restaurants

same in US surely - meh - stay at home and hide in your basement

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Old 06-03-2013, 04:16 AM
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Re: More Bacteria in Ice Than Toilets in 6 Out of 10 UK Restaurants

In Italy is even worse: rarely here someone use mineral water for ice, and ice machines are connected to water network wich color, in some areas including the one where i live, is brown and would be no surprise if one of these days some crocodile will come out fom my toilet.
And the treatment described by blue devil (which is of vital importance) is ignored by most if not all the bar/restaurants owners.
Oh, and what's funny is that during the controls of Hazard analysis and critical control points, (HACCP) they check everything but the ice. If there's even just ONE bacteria on some cutting board they'll spot it for sure and they'll fine you enormously, but if the ice contains a compilation of bacteria carrying all the possible diseases, then nobody gives a shit.

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Old 06-03-2013, 10:20 AM
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Re: More Bacteria in Ice Than Toilets in 6 Out of 10 UK Restaurants

The best ice machines are those which create the ice and then dump it in a large hopper below. Completely separate entities.

However, these require cleaning too and I remember cleaning this large ice bin (cinema) and because it was such a bitch to clean according to the female members of staff it was hardly cleaned unless a manager told them to do it.

Thats what you get with a large female workforce and few men.

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Old 06-03-2013, 10:33 AM
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Re: More Bacteria in Ice Than Toilets in 6 Out of 10 UK Restaurants

This story lost all credibility when I saw it was published by The Daily Mail.

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Old 06-03-2013, 02:39 PM
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Re: More Bacteria in Ice Than Toilets in 6 Out of 10 UK Restaurants

bet the door handle of a macdonalds has even more bacteria and then people grab their burger and eat.

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