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Warning: Investigation Finds Fecal Bacteria in Ice at UK Starbucks Stores

Maybe you should skip your morning coffee

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The “freshly brewed” iced drinks might not be so fresh after all.

If you live in the United Kingdom and you’re thinking about cooling off with an iced drink at Starbucks, think again — a recent investigation conducted by BBC’s Watchdog found that samples of ice at three major coffee hubs contained bacteria found in feces.

The investigation sampled iced drinks from Starbucks, Costa Coffee, and Caffè Nero and found “concerning” levels of bacteria, according to Tony Lewis, bacteria expert and head of policy and education at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

“These should not be present at any level — never mind the significant numbers found,” Lewis said.

During the investigation, tables, trays, and high chairs were tested at 30 different branches. Results showed that seven out of ten samples of ice at Costa Coffee were found to be contaminated with bacteria found in fecal matter. At Starbucks and Caffè Nero, three out of 10 samples tested contained bacteria called fecal coliforms.

According to Lewis, these types of bacteria are “opportunistic pathogens” and “the source of human disease.”

In response to the discovery, a Starbucks spokesman said the company takes hygiene “extremely seriously” and will further investigate the claims. Additionally, a Caffè Nero spokesman said the company would also investigate.


Big name Starbucks has currently been trending on Twitter for the investigation’s discovery, and the internet can’t help but poke fun at it.