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Toilet water cleaner than ice at fast foo(d) places

     
2:36 am on Sep 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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"My hypothesis was that the fast food restaurantsí ice would contain more bacteria that the fast food restaurantsí toilet water."

[wtsp.com...]

Hands are nasty, everyone touches the machines, it's a festering germ breeding ground and luckily we all survive and don't watch our intestines merely ooze out onto the ground in a putrid heap on a daily basis.

Enjoy your McDrinks :)
2:42 am on Sept 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Not surprising. Of course the article didn't say if her study talked about what kinds of bacteria were found in each sample.
10:30 pm on Sept 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Meh... it only builds up your immune system... suck it up soldier!
12:10 am on Sept 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yet another reason not to go to fat food, er fast food, restaurants.
2:36 pm on Sept 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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is that fast food or any restaurant with an ice machine... cause they all have them.
3:18 pm on Sept 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I would venture to say any food establishment that has an ice machine...

Now.. is that the ice machine where they slam that giant scooper into the vat of ice?

Because I don't see this being too big of an issue where the ice is automatically dispensed into a cup...

But on second thought... they probably get the ice into the vending machine by scooping a big bucket full of ice and dumping it into the machine...

drats...
11:44 pm on Sept 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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great... so any place you eat that has ice.
3:59 pm on Sept 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Because I don't see this being too big of an issue where the ice is automatically dispensed into a cup...

Happens way before that in the guts of the machine. For whatever reason, if the parts that come into contact with water aren't regularly cleaned, a bacteria-laden sludge forms. Really goopy stuff.
4:11 pm on Sept 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Really goopy stuff.


Ummmmmm, like beetle juice? :)
3:13 pm on Sept 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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cleanyourdamnicemachhines.com!
8:30 pm on Sept 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Fewer bacteria is not synonymous with cleaner.

If the count was of live bacteria, then sterilised faeces would have none - but that does not make it clean.

Not all bacteria are harmful either.

Most of those in faeces are benign bacteria - which is why faecal transplants (by enema usually, I believe) are done, so many of the bacteria in the toilets will be beneficial to some people.

On the other hand, a lot of bacteria in the environment are beneficial or harmless as well and DO help your immune system develop: which is why modern "hygienic" living (splashing anti-bacterial cleaners everywhere, etc.) has lead to a rise on allergies.
8:38 pm on Sept 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The vision of most ( if not all ) of the USA members reading the above post and saying "WTH" or something close :) ..

btw ..I thought the subject was the ice ..not what they make the burgers from ..
9:40 pm on Sept 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Fast Food is not given its name by how fast it is serve, but by how fast it goes thru your intestinal track ( if it does not make a U-turn on the way down) !
10:48 pm on Sept 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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like beetle juice?

Cute :-)
1:06 am on Sept 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If the count was of live bacteria, then sterilised faeces would have none

Which is why the arguments in favor of {word omitted here} are essentially identical to the arguments against {same word}. Makes the whole discussion so much easier.

The vision of most ( if not all ) of the USA members reading the above post and saying "WTH" or something close

Or, in the alternative, "Yes, and your point is...?" ;)

Someone only recently pointed out to me that it goes both ways. Not just antibiotics but probiotics. Your ordinary helpful digestive bacterium sees no reason why it shouldn't hop over to the next passing cholera bacterium and say Psst! I'll trade you some of my probiotics for some of your tetracycline resistance! Swapping genetic material is apparently the high point of a microorganism's social life. And they don't need to hang out in singles bars to do it.

:: abrupt and wholly unexpected return to topic ::

Let us not even talk about the fast-food outlets that are designed so staff can't see the soft-drink dispensers, and therefore can't see when the next passing adolescent drinks directly from the spout. I don't know if this is intentional or just garden-variety stupidity on the designer's part.

Eons ago I read a newspaper article headed "If you can't drink the water, is the ice safe?" When you're visiting a Third World country (the, ahem, warm ones at least) this kind of thing is useful to know.

Now, if the initial premise of the article that triggered this thread is that you find the same bacteria in both places, then eeeuw. Who wants to wash their hands and come away covered with E. coli?
7:17 am on Sept 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Lucy, as for it being the same bacteria, I remember reading of a study that showed that there were more faecal bacteria in some parts of the average American household kitchen, than on swabs taken in the toilets.

Partly, no doubt, because people tend to disinfect toilets a lot more strongly, but also (according the the book Fast Food Nation) because of assembly line type meat processing by unskilled workers which leads to botched evisceration, scattering gut contents widely.

Ironically the third world meat I eat is a lot less likely to suffer from this than the product of more sophisticated systems - doing things the old fashioned way means one carcase at a time and skilled workers.

[edited by: graeme_p at 7:25 am (utc) on Sep 11, 2012]

7:23 am on Sept 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Eons ago I read a newspaper article headed "If you can't drink the water, is the ice safe?" When you're visiting a Third World country (the, ahem, warm ones at least) this kind of thing is useful to know.


Depends on what the threat is. Even in (some of at least) the third world the problem is shifting away from infections to pollutants. A small amount in ice does not matter too much.

Also, I find travel health advice can be paranoid with regard to vaccines and infectious diseases (it tends to assuming you will be staying in poor accommodation, visiting high risk areas, etc.) but often does not mention risks such as parasitic worms.