United Kingdom study: Fecal bacteria found in ice at McDonalds, KFC, Burger King

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The disturbing results revealed that seven out of 10 KFC locations had fecal bacteria in its ice and six out of 10 Burger King restaurants revealed the same findings.

The latest news comes after the BBC's investigation only last month found iced drinks from popular high-street coffee chains Starbucks, Costa, and Caffe Nero were all contaminated with varying levels of bacterial faeces.

Tony Lewis, the Head of Policy and Education at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health gave his take on the findings in a statement given to the Echo. Investigators from the BBC consumer show, "Watchdog", tested ten samples at each of the chains and tested for traces of "fecal coliform" which carry a number of diseases.

"It's extremely worrying", he said.

It also suggests that workers at the chains are not keeping themselves clean and that they "have dirty bare hands", he said.

"We are shocked and extremely disappointed by these results".

The management of all three fast food chains were quick to assure that hygiene is a top priority in their respective branches, but they also reinforced strict procedures after the shocking discovery.

According to the same outlet, a spokesperson for McDonald's said that the safety of its customers is paramount, and that they have robust measures in place to ensure cleanliness. The strict procedures we have in place are created to ensure all guests have a positive experience each time they visit our restaurants. Low levels of two other indicator bacteria, coliforms and enterococci, were found in some ice samples. "We are proactively working with our franchisees in the United Kingdom to reinforce these procedures".

KFC has since shut down all affected ice machines, and is in the process of inspecting and cleaning ice machines at all its locations in the UK.

Further, the representative said, "As the investigation highlights, there are no specific ice production standards in place, only those relating to unfrozen drinking water".

McDonald's and Burger King both stressed the training that they give their employees and the good health ratings that their restaurants have. McDonald's was open to working with relevant industry bodies on ensuring a standard for ice contamination.

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