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Old 01-09-2010, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
27,998 posts, read 46,415,349 times
Reputation: 19403

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Those soda fountain machines found in restaurants and fast food joints 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.

Soda Fountains Squirt Fecal Bacteria, Study Finds - ABC News
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
605 posts, read 1,923,604 times
Reputation: 377
The good news is that the level of bacteria in the soda that was dispensed rarely exceeded EPA standards for drinking water.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,886 posts, read 51,428,878 times
Reputation: 27807
There are three areas that are common problems. The mixer heads on the soda fountains - we ALWAYS used to remove these and sit the parts in a bleach solution overnight. The ice machine and ice containers - if you let the ice in an ice bin completely melt, you may find "lost" six packs of beer, missing ice scoops, employee lunches, and all sorts of other goodies. Contaminated ice from improper cleaning of ice machines is extremely common. The third problem is a little less of a health threat - the drain from ice bins covering the cooling plate in a soda fountain commonly fills up with snot and can clog. It is really disgusting stuff.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
605 posts, read 1,923,604 times
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In this instance, the researchers were looking only at the fountain sodas, not the ice. They can't pinpoint a specific source for the contamination. They originally hypothesized that people were touching the soda nozzles. Surprisingly, they really weren't. The source for the article said that he/she believed that bacteria was introduced to the fountain by rare errant touches and then grew in the tubing, which is rarely or never cleaned.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:49 AM
 
Location: 3814′45″N 12237′53″W
4,152 posts, read 9,590,963 times
Reputation: 3398
Quote:
Originally Posted by John1960 View Post
Those soda fountain machines found in restaurants and fast food joints 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.

Soda Fountains Squirt Fecal Bacteria, Study Finds - ABC News
Ugh. Three words in the english language that should never go together:

Squirt. Fecal. Bacteria.

Why isn't there a "puke" smilie icon?
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,886 posts, read 51,428,878 times
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Part of the problem is labeling. If "fecal" bacteria can grow on fountainheads, does that make the fountainheads the bottom end of the digestive system? Of course not. Just because certain bacteria are commonly found in feces, one shouldn't ASSume they always come from that source.

Of course there IS the alternate explanation, one that many employees who serve the public have been trying to tell upper management for years... "Customers are a--holes."
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:45 AM
 
Location: NoVA
1,377 posts, read 2,198,011 times
Reputation: 1911
Wha? I don't see the problem.
http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/4053/storycoke2.jpg (broken link)http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/8639/diarrhea.jpg (broken link)
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:59 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,200 posts, read 9,256,753 times
Reputation: 4759
Been drinking from soda fountains 20 years...still alive
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:54 PM
 
Location: NE San Antonio
1,642 posts, read 3,470,111 times
Reputation: 1428
I try to avoid fountain drinks. If you have ever taken one apart, you know what kind of mold and mildew can grow inside.

Most large chain restuarants and stores do their best to keep them clean, not always so at many smaller independant places. If you see mold/mildew anywhere on the outside of a self-serve machine, you can bet that the inside it filthy.
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