E. Coli Bacteria Found on Ice Cubes

Swiss study finds unpleasant bacteria on restaurant ice cubes
Ice cubes

Wikimedia/Iced Tea

Researchers in Switzerland found unappetizing bacteria on ice cubes from restaurants, bars, and cafes. 

If a restaurant or bar looks clean, that’s usually enough for most people. But germs and bacteria are too small to see, and a new study in Switzerland indicates that restaurant ice machines may not be getting the cleanings they require.

According to The Local, researchers in Switzerland say that they found fecal matter, pseudomonas, E. coli, or enterococci on nearly a quarter of ice cubes tested from Swiss bars and restaurants. The problem apparently starts at the source of the ice. Ice machines are often kept in restaurants’ basements, and they are not being cleaned or maintained properly. Cleaning bathrooms and counters is an obvious necessity, but often people overlook the ice machine.


No restaurants or bars have reportedly been cited after the study results were published, because the scientists say bacteria levels were not high enough to cause a threat to people’s health. Still, it’s not pleasant to think about fecal matter on ice cubes, so maybe the study will inspire some people to give the ice machines a good scrub-down every once in awhile.