A month ago, the BBC program,Watchdog, released a chapter on samples of fecal residues in cold drinks from three coffee multinationals in the United Kingdom. Now, as if continuing the theme, the television program again found fecal bacteria in the ice of McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken –KFC– and Burger King in the same country.
Samples from 10 companies with UK branches revealed the presence of this bacterium known as fecal coliform in three samples from McDonald’s, six from Burger King and seven from KFC. Of those samples, four from Burger King and five from KFC with "significant" levels of said bacteria.
According to the government department that sets safety standards in the UK, Defra, these levels of faecal contamination should not be present in water used for human consumption. In the words of Tony Lewis, Head of Education at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, “This is extremely worrying. When we find these numbers on the samples, it has to go to the people who make the ice, who handle the smell, and who are transferring them to the drink customers. And it also has to address the potential hygienic failure of the machines themselves: are they being kept clean? "
Faced with these results, McDonald’s announced: “It is good to know that Escherichia coli –E. coli - the bacteria considered the most accurate indicator of fecal contamination, was not found in any of the ice samples from McDonald's restaurants. Other types of bacterial indicators, coliforms and enterococci, were found at low levels. These can be used as an assessment of water hygiene, but because they are widely distributed in the natural environment, they are not reliable indicators of potential health risks. " While KFC expressed being "shocked and extremely disappointed" by the results, establishing new and stricter safety processes in each of its products.