Coffee lovers, get ready for a rude awakening.
According to a recent report by BBC’s TV series Watchdog, your iced coffee might have traces of fecal matter in it.
You heard me, there could be poop in your morning pick-me-up.
Watchdog‘s researchers took samples from three major U.K. coffee chains–Starbucks, Caffe Nero and Costa Coffee–all of which were found to have varying levels of bacteria in their ice. This bacteria is resistant to cold temperatures and has the capability to grow in the human digestive track, a big no-no.
Out of ten iced coffee samples at each chain, Costa Coffee ranked the worst, with six out of ten samples having fecal contamination–Starbucks and Caffe Nero did a bit better, with “only” three out of ten. While the levels of actual contamination are fairly minuscule, it still doesn’t fare well for anyone’s health. Had any of these bacteria also been contaminated with E. Coli, anyone getting coffee also would have had a high risk of getting food poisoning.
This is all too much poop for my tastes (ew), and experts on the subject seem to share my opinion. According to a spokesperson for the food-safety group Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, “These should not be [feces] present at any level, never mind the significant numbers found.” If that doesn’t make you reconsider your iced latte, I don’t know what will.
After the release of this research, all three coffee chains announced that they would be reevaluating their ice-handling procedures–thank God–and Starbucks has issued a complete internal investigation on the issue. Until we can be guaranteed that all the poop is gone, I recommend making your own coffee from home–or better yet, make the switch to green tea.