Put Down Your Starbucks, Investigators Find Seriously Unappetizing Substance

Prepare to be horrified before ordering a frap anyway.

Image via Wikipedia

Just when you thought you had enough to contend with in this topsy-turvy political climate, a BBC investigation revealed some coffee chains are adding more crap to the mix — literally. According to the outlet’s “Watchdog” program, which seeks to keep brands honest, “varying levels of the bacteria” commonly found in fecal matter were discovered in iced drinks from Starbucks, Costa Coffee, and Caffe Nero.

According to the BBC report, 70% of the Costa Coffee ice samples contained the strain of bacteria associated with feces. In addition to studying the ice used in popular coffee drinks, the BBC researchers looked at bacteria levels on tabletops, serving trays, and chairs. Sanitation expert and head of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Tony Lewis called the levels “concerning,” telling the British outlet, “these should not be present at any level — never mind the significant numbers found.”

OK, but what’s wrong with a little bacteria? After all, our own bodies contain roughly 40 trillion bacterial organisms. Well, not all bacteria are created equal, something Lewis contended by calling the strains found in the coffee drinks “opportunistic pathogens” and “the source of human disease.” Yeah, no one wants an extra shot of disease with their mocha frappuccino.

While Costa Coffee said it’d be updating its ice-makers and safety guidelines in response to the report, Starbucks remained skeptical and announced it’d be running an internal investigation. Caffe Nero also told BBC it’d be taking similar steps. According to a Starbucks spokesperson, the company regards hygienic requirements “extremely seriously.” Regardless, we’re probably going to stick to hot drinks for a while.

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