Are you sipping a delicious iced coffee right now? Don’t freak out, but if it’s from a big chain cafe, there’s probably feces in it.
A report from the BBC’s Watchdog found these shocking results. They found fecal matter in the iced coffees of three major coffee chains, Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Caffe Nero:
Seven out of 10 samples of Costa ice were found to be contaminated with bacteria found in faeces. At both Starbucks and Caffe Nero, three out of 10 samples tested contained the bacteria known as faecal coliforms.
Ice machines are notoriously filthy, and Starbucks has been called out before in health investigations around ice.
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“These should not be present at any level, never mind the significant numbers found,” Expert Tony Lewis told the BBC. He said these types of bacteria are “opportunistic pathogens – the source of human disease.”
Following the BBC investigation, all three of the chains are either conducting their own investigations or making changes to how equipment is used. Costa updated its ice-handling guidelines and was installing new ice equipment storage. Starbucks started conducting its own investigation, stating that the company took hygiene “extremely seriously.” A Caffe Nero spokesman said “a thorough investigation” was under way, followed by “appropriate action” after their own findings are complete.