Those soda fountain machines found in restaurants and fast food joints may be squirting out liquids contaminated with fecal bacteria, a small study found.
Photo: Fecal bacteria found in soda fountains
Those soda fountain machines found in restaurants and fast food joints around the world may be squirting out liquids contaminated with fecal bacteria, a small study found.
Whether it was self-serve or behind the counter, nearly half of all sodas dispensed from a sample of 30 machines in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia had coliform bacteria -- a group of bacteria banned in drinking water by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because it indicates the possibility of fecal contamination.
"The EPA regulates our drinking supply, and there can be some bacteria, but one of the things that is not allowed is coliform bacteria," said Renee D. Godard, professor of biology at Hollins University and a co-author of the paper published in the January print issue of the International Journal of Food Microbiology.
"We can't have that in our drinking supply. But they're coming out of these soda fountain machines," she said.