High level of bacteria from “faeces” found in KFC drinks
KFC launched an investigation after a TV programme discovered bacteria from faeces in a cup of iced water.
A researcher at the BBC was served the drink at the fast food chain’s restaurant on Martineau Place in Birmingham.
The results were examined by Dr Margarita Gomez Escalada at Leeds Beckett University for the third series of Rip Off Britain: Food.
She said: ‘We found high levels of bacteria in the ice. The presence of faecal coliform suggests that there’s faecal contamination either on the water that made the ice, or the ice itself, and so it increases the risk of getting sick from consuming this ice.’
In a statement KFC told the programme that it was ‘extremely disappointed’ by the ice test results adding that it had ‘immediately launched an investigation’.
KFC also said they were undertaking ‘a retraining programme with all team members on our standards for touch point cleaning and procedures’. The restaurant chain added that it takes ‘food safety and hygiene extremely seriously’.
The BBC One programme was investigating food hygiene standards in branches of several big name takeaways and coffee shops.
The team took a number of samples in establishments that had recently scored a zero rating in official inspections, meaning `urgent improvement’ is required.
Undercover researchers visited a branch of Costa in Loughborough, the Chicken Cottage in Hampstead, a Café Nero in Bath, the Wimpy in Basildon, and a KFC in Birmingham. The swabs were then sent to a lab for analysis.
While the results from most of the samples turned up only low and harmless levels of bacteria, that wasn’t the case at the KFC branch in Birmingham – which, only weeks earlier, had temporarily closed for a deep clean following its zero rating.
Samples from all the public areas tested – such as tables, serving areas and doors – came back clean.
But in each establishment visited, the Rip Off Britain team had also asked for a cup of tap water with ice, as that can be an good indicator of standards behind the scenes.
All the establishments the team visited have now been reinspected under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, and in each case, environmental health officers gave them scores of either four, or the maximum five.
These hygiene ratings are often seen displayed on green stickers on the doors or windows of restaurants.
Everywhere that serves food, whether it’s a restaurant or takeaway, has to be officially inspected, and serious hygiene failings can lead to prosecution.
But in England and Scotland, there is no obligation for establishments to display their score – meaning those that score badly may choose not to do so.
In Wales, all businesses must by law display the sticker that shows their hygiene rating in a prominent place.
Rip Off Britain presenter Angela Rippon found that on a street in London’s Soho with 34 restaurants, only nine displayed their hygiene rating.
She said: ‘If every restaurant had to put their food hygiene rating in a prominent position, you could decide whether or not that was a restaurant you wanted to walk into – or walk past. It would certainly be so much easier for customers’.
Catriona Stewart, head of the Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme, said the Food Standards Agency is assembling the evidence that it hopes will persuade the Government such a move is necessary, so that it can introduce legislation requiring all establishments to display their hygiene ratings.
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