A new report says that in a recent investigation into the coffee sold by the country’s three major coffee chains, traces of fecal bacteria have been found. The Iced Coffee drinks from Starbucks, Caffe Nero, and Costa all had a fecal-derived pathogen in varying amounts found in test samples. The worst offender was Costa, which has been voted the nation’s favorite coffee shop three years in a row. Testers found that Seven out of 10 samples were found to contain the bacteria.
As for Starbucks and Caffe Nero, samples from both chains produced the bacteria known as fecal coliform in three out of ten samples. Chartered Institute of Environmental Health’s Tony Lewis said the results are “concerning,” something that most of use might consider and understatement. Lewis said; “These should not be present at any level – never mind the significant numbers found.” Lewis warned that such“opportunistic pathogens” are the cause of human disease.”
Following the disclosure from the BBC investigation of Britain’s top three chains all said they are now investigating the cause of the contamination. Costa, where customers can choose their iced drink from a range of six different flavors, said it had updated its ice-producing guidelines and sought out new equipment. While Starbucks told media it is conducting its own investigation into the allegations, saying it takes hygiene “extremely seriously.” Additionally, the award-winning multinational coffee chain, Caffe Nero, said it is “thoroughly” investigating the claims and that it will act upon the findings.
The results of this investigation come close on the heels of a similar scandal earlier in the year which found human waste inside sealed cans of Coca-Cola shipped to Northern Ireland from Germany. Eventually, that contamination was traced to the Lisburn Coca-Cola plant. The cause of the contamination is believed to have been caused by illegal immigrants hiding inside the vehicles transporting the empty cans.
A source within the company told the Belfast Telegraph that at the Lisburn plant, the cans arrive without tops and are filled with Coke. “It was absolutely horrible, and the machines had to be turned off for about 15 hours to be cleaned. It’s really shocking – and beyond the shock of finding something pretty disgusting in the cans is the thought there could have been poor people in that situation. And if they did make that journey, where are they now?”
In the case of the Coke products, the cans in question, luckily did not make it to customers. Coca-Cola said in response to the allegations, they take the safety and quality of their soft-drinks “extremely seriously.” The incident resulted in an investigation being launched in collaboration with police in Northern Ireland. That investigation is still proceeding.