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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
Join The Conversation
lighthouselady lighthouselady 7 years
My philosophy from the early age of 5: "Everything is dangerous."
MsChoo MsChoo 7 years
I usually buy the bottled/canned juices instead, now thats another reason for me to do so :)
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
Oh man that is nasty. I usually stay away from communal water fountains but now I'm only refilling from home. Urgh!
prencesschris prencesschris 7 years
yuck is right :(, glad i dont really drink fountain drinks all that often
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 7 years
Thanks for this.. that makes it even easier for me to give up soda. I only ever had it every once in a while anyway, but this should take care of it completely. By the way... I hope no one is giving soda to infants, then they don't have to worry about the bacteria either.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Yeah, I never get soda from fountains because I don't think it tastes the same anyway. I think you're probably safer getting diet soda from a fountain because the sugar in the regular soda is perfect media for growing E. coli and other bugs.
wolfjinx25 wolfjinx25 7 years
Okay that's just plain gross. How common is it for people to get sick from it? I never heard of it happening. :(
wren1 wren1 7 years
Thanks for the info, Fit. This is so gross.
Hello890 Hello890 7 years
Snapper, wow that is disgusting! As I read that, I was drinking my water bottle, that I usually refill from the cooler, but maybe I'll think twice about it now.
snapperdoodle snapperdoodle 7 years
If the soda fountains are "cleaned", that usually means someone stuck all the parts in a bucket of water, to prevent clogging. At work, someone keeps refilling their water bottle at the cooler. I know they're refilling because their lipstick ends up on the spout! Ugh!
esh712 esh712 7 years
I love this post, because this has been a battle my father has fought for years! When he was a boy, he got severely, severely ill from a contaminated soda fountain. He was actually hospitalized for something like a month, maybe more. He said that while restaurants/stores/etc. are supposed to, they rarely clean out the containers...just keep refilling. When he managed a bar, he made sure those soda containers were properly cleaned!
snapperdoodle snapperdoodle 7 years
When I was a waitress, instead of refilling the customers glass from the fountain, we'd get a fresh glass with fresh ice. Either we were getting splash-back from any beverage still in the glass, or the glass would touch the nozzle on the machine, or other servers would let the nozzle dip into the beverage while refilling, and we figured it couldn't be very sanitary! I doubt other places do this, but that's gotta be one of the reasons for the contamination.
any any 7 years
** thats **to
bethinabox bethinabox 7 years
Yuck :(
michlny michlny 7 years
This is good to know and I do not drink soda, BUT, it doesn't seem like it has been a problem? You don't hear about tons of sick people from the soda fountain...right?
tylergrl33 tylergrl33 7 years
This is a great post! I sent this to some friends who should definitely know about this. Because apparently to them weight-gain and possible kidney failure aren't enough?
Beauty Beauty 7 years
Ugh. Ew. The more I read about soda, the more I want to stay away! Thanks for the update.
Hello890 Hello890 7 years
Where was the bacteria? On the buttons or the actual spout? I could understand the buttons, but the spout would be just disgusting!
any any 7 years
waooo that super bAD but good too know! thanx sugar!
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