Study Shows That Putting Ice In Your Drink At Fast Food Restaurants Is Harmful To Your Health
Jay Dawson August 1st 2017 Science
For a couple of decades now we've all known how bad fast food is for our health. Even when Super Size Me came out, we weren't really that shocked. There's one problem, though, and that's that fast food like McDonald's, Burger King, and KFC is just so damned delicious. It's almost impossible to resist those juicy, mouth-watering burgers, shakes, and fries. Well, this scandalous new study might turn you off the restaurant chains forever. And it's not the burgers you should be watching out for: it's the ice...
A Shocking Study
The news came from research undertaken by Britain's national broadcaster, BBC, for their Watchdog program. Investigative journalists from their team undertook random and unannounced tests of both the ice and the ice machines of the three leading fast food brands in the UK, and found something extremely disturbing. Out of ten restaurants that they tested, an insane seven of them had E. coli - coliform bacteria - growing in the machines. Out of those seven machines and ice, five of them had "severe" bacterial growth. That's half of all the restaurants they tested.
Basically, the ice they're putting into your soda is full of nasty stuff. And don't think that because this was just a UK-based study, it's not happening anywhere else. Past research has shown very similar findings worldwide, and actually, the UK has some of the highest standards of food hygiene in the entire world. As the following video will show, this really is just the tip of the filthy iceberg.
What Does This All Mean?
Just in case you didn't know what E. coli is, and how serious it can be for your health, we're going to lay it out for you. But be warned: we're going to get a bit potty-mouthed. E. coli is, to be blunt, some pretty nasty bacteria that comes from poop. It lives in the digestive tracts of animals, you see, and can then go on to infect meat during processing, or lakes and bodies of water where animal droppings or sewage gets into it, or, well, ice.
E. coli is bad for you. Really bad. It can give you infections of the kidney, bladder, and urinary tract, and can even cause failure of some organs. Not to mention making you horrendously ill, especially if whatever you've just eaten hasn't been treated properly. So how did it get into the ice of these fast food chains? Simple: when staff members don't wash their hands properly, then handle the ice machine, it's like pouring a whole bucket of bacteria right in there.
If you've had the stomach to make it through to the end of this article, you've probably already sworn off ice in your McDonald's soda forever. Of course, the major companies named in this study have already hit back at the claims, saying that while there have been some incidents, their hygiene policies are "strict", and that they're "proud that 99 percent of our restaurants have an independent hygiene rating of either good or very good."
But are you really going to believe that? Hand-washing habits of your local drive-thru teen are never going to change, no matter how much you harass them about it. So it really might be time to ditch the ice, no matter where you are in the world and how many promises the big chains make. Maybe switch to ordering shakes for now - at least, until the next study reveals exactly what's inside those.