It is very apparent that Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients need to limit their liquid intake, but it is even more important that they make sure the liquid they consume is clean. It seems every few weeks, a new study comes out detailing how your purse, your can openers and all sorts of other seemingly harmless things that actually contain way more germs than the toilet. One may suspect the toilet and its water are actually some of the cleanest substances in modern society. The latest is a particularly disheartening and disgusting finding, however. It seems ice cubes from fast food restaurants contain higher levels of bacteria than water samples taken from those same restaurants’ toilet bowls!
The investigation was conducted by The Daily Mail, which sampled the fine ice and toilet bowl water at 10 fast food chains in Britain, including Burger King, McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks and Pizza Hut.
Six of the 10 ice samples—from branches of McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Starbucks, Cafe Rouge and Nando’s—had higher bacteria levels than the bathroom water samples. We found this just as surprising as you.
None of the bacteria found in restaurant ice cubes, however, “presented an immediate health danger,” according to a UK government-accredited laboratory. Still, four (Burger King, Nando’s, McDonald’s and KFC) did contain high enough bad bacteria levels to warrant considering them a “hygiene risk,” it said. Considering CKD patients have a lower immune systems, this is a very serious matter.
“This is a warning,” Melody Greenwood, a doctor and former laboratory director for the British Health Protection Agency, told the Mail.
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“It is easy to forget ice can carry bacteria because they think it is too cold for germs, but that is far from the truth. Nasty bugs such as E.coli can lurk in ice machines. In some cases, such as Nando’s, we found double the amount of bacteria we would expect to find [in drinking water]. This is caused by things such as a failure to clean machines and scoops used by staff.”
Spokesman from McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC said they’re investigating the situation. Nando’s spokesman said the chain challenges the Mail’s results “and (does) not accept that they demonstrate any failings.” So, if you enjoy drinks with your fast food meals, make sure to refrain from putting ice in it. If you must abide by fluid restrictions, however, consider filling your cup half way to avoid drinking too much fluid with your meal.
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"Fast-Food Ice Dirtier Than Toilet Water." Http://abcnews.go.com/. ABC News Network.
Ellery, Ben. "Ice in Six out of Ten Restaurants Has More Bacteria than Water from Toilets." Http://www.dailymail.co.uk. Mail Online/Associated Newspapers.
"Restaurant Ice Is Dirtier Than Toilet Water & We Are Officially Grossed Out." Http://thestir.cafemom.com. The Stir.
"Another Study Determines Restaurant Ice Machines Contain More Bacteria Than Toilet Water." Http://www.grubstreet.com/. Grub Street.