Investigation Finds Poop Bacteria in Starbucks Iced Drinks

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Here’s a story you’re going to want to read before delving into your daily Starbucks—or one you’re going to want to avoid if you’ve already had a cup, because it could leave a crappy taste in your mouth.

A (very limited) study conducted by the BBC found that ice samples from three out of the 10 tested Starbucks in the United Kingdom were found to be contaminated with a bacteria called fecal coliform—one that, as you probably guessed, comes from poop.

In other words, according to the investigation, 30 percent of Starbucks drinkers in the U.K. that prefer cold beverages are basically Austin Powers in this scene from The Spy Who Shagged Me.

Starbucks is not alone, however. The BBC found that two other coffee chains in the U.K. had contaminated ice—Caffe Nero also had three out of 10 shitty test results, while Costa Coffee had a butt load: seven of 10 were contaminated.

“The level of contamination of faecal bacteria concerns me a great deal,” said Tony Lewis of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, according to the BBC. “The bacteria found are opportunistic pathogens—the source of human disease. These should not be present at any level—never mind the significant numbers found.”

Like the other implicated businesses, Starbucks released a statement on the matter:

We want to reassure our customers that we take hygiene and cleanliness extremely seriously. We have moved quickly to conduct our own investigation into the claims. All employees nationwide have received updated training on our high standards of hygiene including ice handling. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers.


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