Food & Drink

Sorry, but there might be poo in your high street coffee

Posted by
Alex Finnis
Published

If you’re a fan of iced coffee and tend to pick up your morning brew from one of the big three chains, you might want to consider splashing out at that artisan, independently-owned cafe for a little while instead.

That’s because ice used at Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero has been found to contain bacteria from faeces, a BBC investigation has discovered.

BBC’s Watchdog found varying levels of the bacteria across a sample of iced drinks from the three big chains. Again, that’s faecal bacteria. Pooey coffee.

Costa were found to be the worst offenders – seven in 10 of the samples of ice tested were found to be contaminated with the bacteria known as faecal coliforms.

The numbers were slightly better for both Starbucks and Caffee Nero – three in 10 of their samples tested positive. Still, that means you’re getting poo in your coffee 30% of time, which is 30% more often than I would ordinarily choose to drink poo.

Seven in 10 samples of Costa Coffee ice was found to be contaminated with faecal bacteria

Tony Lewis, of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, called the findings “concerning”, and called the bacteria “opportunistic pathogens – the source of human disease”.

All three of the chains are taking immediate action to deal with the problem. Costa say they are in the process of introducing new ice equipment storage and have updated their ice-handling guidelines.

Meanwhile Starbucks and Caffe Nero have both launched their own independent investigations. A Starbucks spokesman said they are taking the BBC’s findings “very seriously”, and a spokesman for Caffe Nero assured that "appropriate action" would be taken.

A spokesman for Costa told The Telegraph: "We were disappointed with the findings, especially as these stores are all rated 'very good' with a the top hygiene rating of five.

"Following these results we took immediate action to review our food safety procedures and have updated our ice-handling guidelines and are in the process of introducing new ice equipment storage across our estate."

So, sorry everyone, but if you like iced coffee then you have been drinking poo. That’s why you should always just stick with tea. Can’t go wrong with a nice, warm mug of Yorkshire Tea – splash of milk, no sugar – that’s the way to do it.

(Image: REX)