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Fecal Bacteria Found On Almost Half Of Soda Fountains

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the it-tastes-a-bit-nutty dept.

Idle 9

Do you think soda tastes best from a fountain? A team of microbiologists from Hollins University have found that extra flavor might just be coliform, a fecal bacteria. 48% of the sodas they tested from soda fountains had the bacteria. Even better news, the study also found that most of the bacteria were resistant to antibiotics. From the abstract: "...Coliform bacteria was detected in 48% of the beverages and 20% had a heterotrophic plate count greater than 500 cfu/ml. [...] More than 11% of the beverages analyzed contained Escherichia coli [E. Coli] and over 17% contained Chryseobacterium meningosepticum. Other opportunistic pathogenic microorganisms isolated from the beverages included species of Klebsiella, Staphylococcus, Stenotrophomonas, Candida, and Serratia. Most of the identified bacteria showed resistance to one or more of the 11 antibiotics tested."

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So there's bacteria everywhere (1)

MasterPatricko (1414887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30685040)

Beware, thar be GERMS aboot

As TFA says, "Lawasky made sure to note that there has been only one recorded outbreak linked to soda fountains, and that was 10 years ago."

News at 11

To quote the Myth Busters ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30685084)

To quote the Myth Busters ... "there's poo everywhere".

Seriously, ewww. :-P


Soda does taste best from a fountain. (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 4 years ago | (#30685544)

I can think of a few reasons:

  1. The ice is in bins near melting point rather than fresh from a freezer which is warmer. When the slightly warmer soda hits it, some melts diluting the too sweet soda.
  2. As it comes out the spigot, much of the CO2 is lost as bubbles. Soda right from a fresh bottle is always too fizzy and too sweet.
  3. Possibly taste of plastic bottle remains in soda from bottle.

The exception is that most 'convenience store fountain soda' tastes like the cleaning fluid used to clean the machines. Fast food joint and restaurant soda never has this problem. It's too bad, because convenience store fountain soda is usually cheaper and available in larger quantities.

Re:Soda does taste best from a fountain. (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 4 years ago | (#30687900)

It's too bad, because convenience store fountain soda is usually cheaper and available in larger quantities.

And there's part of the reason.

What the hell kind of summary is that? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30687338)

a) the bacteria has nothing to do with the taste.
b) everybody who drinks soda drinks fountain sodas and problems are not wide-spread (though plausibly acute).
c) we don't clean soda fountains with antibiotics, we use bleach and other destructive cleaners. Antibiotic resistance reflects the general population of bacteria, nothing to do with soda fountains specifically.

Re:What the hell kind of summary is that? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30689144)

> What the hell kind of summary is that?

The usual kind. This is Slashdot, after all.

Death by Misinformation (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30689314)

There is so much FUD in this article... or at least in the summary. I don't want to click-thru, because I don't want to give any hits to yet another OMG GERMS article.

News flash: you *want* E. Coli, unless you 3 diarrhea, dehydration, and death. It's everywhere, because we need it. The "bad" E. Coli is largely engineered by humans -- not on purpose, but by feeding antibiotics to our factory-farmed food animals, feeding antibiotics to ourselves, and by meticulously cleaning every possible surface. The antibiotics kill off all but the mutant zombie strains, and the overzealous cleaning gets rid of the competing strains that would normally push the mutants aside.

Now, 'scuse me while I go play in the dirt.

Re:Death by Misinformation (1)

techess (1322623) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702544)

This is a good point. I had a college internship at a small zoo. There were several things we did to help reduce the chance of kids getting sick from E. coli at the petting zoo. We kept the grounds cleaned, kept the dust down, provided hand sanitizer at the exits, we wouldn't allow kids/adults to enter with food or gum, and a few other standard practices.

The most interesting thing we did was feed the animals a supplement that contained bacteria like Lactobacillus. They said it contained other natural rumen bacteria, but didn't specify what those were. I'm guessing one of those unnamed bacteria was a benign form of E. coli. Good E. coli can provide vitamin K2 to its host and prevent the dangerous varieties from growing.

immune wars (1)

Magdalene (263144) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690364)

the article doesn't mention what concentrations the bacteria are found in because they are not in concentrations enough to do any harm to anyone but folks with limited to non-existent immune systems (of the boy in the plastic bubble type that is) who aren't going to be just running down to the Sev for a Big Gulp anyway. We live in a world of germs, our immune systems don't work if we aren't exposed to them regularly. If your immune system has nothing to attack, it will, just hanging out with all the rest of your inner workings, get bored and start looking for things to do It likes to fix things! "that *is* what it is there for after all! Why should it lay around doing nothing!" and it will go around fixing things regardless of their current working order. (kinda like those guys who, you will leave in the morning with them at the breakfast table with a coffee, and you will come home and they will have decided that the wall needed to be taken out, and part of the roof, because it was too dark in the kitchen, so the plumbing had to be re-routed through the neighbour's upper bedroom, and it turns out that the wall was a retaining wall, and you are renting. even if there was a perfectly good window blind they could have opened, directly to the left of the table,

*That* kind of fixing.

It is not surprising that the amount of auto-immune disorders have risen since we have become so 'germ-fearful', with anti-biotic this and antiseptic that, we only end up giving our immune systems an excuse for 'fixing' our own bodies, and end up killing of the least harmful germs, clearing the way for novel, more insidious, or double and triple resistant bacteria.

a few harmless bugs are good for the system.

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