Soda Fountains May Contain Fecal Bacteria
ABC News reports that some soda fountains found in restaurants and fastfood establishments may contain coliform bacteria – banned organisms by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as presence of it may indicate fecal bacteria 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, a Hollins University Biology professor who co-authored the research. The paper was published in the January issue of International Journal of Food Microbiology. The sampling of the research was done using 30 soda machines in Roanoke Valley, Virginia.
About 48% of the beverages tested positive with the coliform bacteria while 20% have bacteria content that was way beyond the allowed range. Ice and tap water from the soda machines are not affected.
As of the moment, the source of the bacteria is still unknown. Restaurant owners said that they clean the nozzles everyday. A single nozzle contamination is enough for the bacteria to start growing in the machines and tubings.