The Iced Coffee Dilemma: Faecal Bacteria Found In Ice At Starbucks, Costa, And Caffè Nero
This should be like the news of a lover’s passing for coffee-lovers. Oh, the heartbreak!
3 of the world’s leading coffee chains – Starbucks, Costa, and Caffè Nero – have been found to be using ice that contains faecal bacteria. Yes, you read that right. A BBC investigation, for their consumer show Watchdog, found that 7 out of 10 samples of ice in Costa contained the bacteria known as faecal coliforms, while at Starbucks and Caffè Nero, it was 3 out of 10 samples each.
The 3 chains are big names in the coffee world, to be reckoned with the world over. It’d be tough to find a coffee lover who hasn’t tried coffee from these places at least once in their lifetime. To have to find out that your favourite cuppa can be the cause of diseases for you is disheartening, to say the least.
Apart from the testing of ice, the cleanliness of various furniture and equipment such as tables, high chairs, and trays was also tested at 30 branches. According to www.bbc.com, experts have labelled these findings as highly ‘concerning’. They believe that these bacteria shouldn’t be present in the ice at all, and definitely not in such high quantities, as they are the source of many diseases. These bacteria are called ‘opportunistic pathogens’, which means that while they don’t do much harm to healthy people, they can be dangerous for those with low or reduced immunity.
All 3 chains have expressed concern about the findings and have promised to take appropriate steps. Starbucks said that they take hygiene “extremely seriously”, and both Starbucks and Caffè Nero are now conducting their own investigations. Costa has updated its ice-handling guidelines and is introducing new equipment for the storage of ice, in order to maintain their levels of hygiene.
However, keeping in mind the fact that the sample size for the investigation was small might help put things in perspective – mainly that there is no need to panic. Yet.