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Study Finds Nearly Half of Soda Fountains Contaminated With Bacteria

I'll Take a Large Coca-E.Coli, Please

If the empty calories, corn syrup, health risks, and possible added tax aren't enough to make you kick the soda habit, how about scare tactics? Soda fountains are contaminated with bacteria, including E. coli. And yes, it's the same deadly E. coli found in ground beef. Grossed out yet? I am.

Biologists in Virginia analyzed soda and water dispensed from 30 different soda fountains in restaurants and cafeterias, finding nearly half of them contaminated with bacteria — and not the good kind. Eleven percent of the soda fountains contained E. coli and 17 percent contained C. meningosepticum, a bacteria strain that is most commonly associated with causing meningitis in infants.

What's more disheartening is that many of the bacteria strains were resistant to the antibiotics used to eradicate them, indicating they are thriving little buggers that have built up a resistance to normal remedies. The biologists say that these thriving communities may contribute to "episodic gastric distress in the general population and could pose a more significant health risk to immunocompromised individuals." More reason than ever to start carrying a reusable water bottle with you at all times.

Image Source: Getty
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