In an alarming new blow to hygiene standards at UK food and drink chains, the BBC Watchdog programme has found traces of coliform poo in iced drinks at McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC.
In an episode that aired Wednesday July 19 on BBC One, Watchdog tested 10 samples for traces of “faecal coliform” at branches of each of the fast food chains.
Coliforms were found in seven samples at KFC, six at Burger King, and three at McDonald’s.
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.
Four of the samples taken at Burger King and five at KFC were described as having “significant” levels of the bacteria, according to Metro. Strict hygiene rules state that the acceptable level of this type of bacteria in water for human consumption is zero.
All of the restaurants have responded to the claims. KFC, the worst offender, immediately shut down the ice machines in question in order to conduct its own investigation. It said it had “reinforced the importance of adhering to our strict procedures to all employees.”
“We are awaiting the results of independent testing of the ice that will confirm they are back up to the standards we expect,” it added.
“To reassure customers we have also inspected and cleaned the ice machines in all other restaurants across the UK.”
Burger King said it was committed to emphasising standards and training procedures for employees, while McDonald’s responded saying it would be “happy to work with relevant industry bodies on ensuring a standard for ice contamination.” Currently no such standard exists in the UK.