Soda Fountains Could Contain Fecal Matter
A study published in the January issue of International Journal of Food Microbiology makes it much less tempting to go for a refill at the soda fountain. Almost half of 90 beverages from 30 soda fountains in Virginia tested positive for cloriform bacteriaâ€”which means they could contain fecal matter.
Researchers examined beverages from both self-service and employee-dispensed soda machines. Forty-eight percent contained cloriform bacteria, 11 percent contained E. coli, and 17 percent had Chryseobacterium meningosepticum (which could sicken newborns or adults with weakened immune systems). The study didnâ€™t determine how the bacteria got inside the beverage machines. Possible causes could include dispensing the beverage with unclean hands or using wet rags to wipe down the machine.
The U.S Environmental Protective Agency drinking-water regulations require that all samples test negative for E. coli. The study authors wrote that pathogenic strains of bacteria could â€œpersist and thrive in soda machines if introduced.â€