On Wednesday, the BBC reported on a recent investigation that found traces of fecal bacteria in samples of drinks from Burger King, KFC and McDonald’s in the UK.
So how concerned should we be?
According to CNBC, McDonald’s released a statement from Tom Humphrey, a professor of bacteriology and food safety at Swansea University Medical School, who explained why the presence of coliform bacteria shouldn’t be a big cause for concern to consumers.
“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,” he said. “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.”
In other words, the fact that fecal bacteria has been found at several United Kingdom outlets of Starbucks, McDonald’s and other popular fast-food chains shouldn’t too concerning.