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Ice From Starbucks Found to Contain Feces Bacteria

This is not a story that Starbucks’ customers will want to read with their morning coffee. The BBC found fecal bacteria in the ice of the U.K.’s three largest coffee chains. Ice from Starbucks and Caffe Nero contained the fecal coliforms bacteria in 30 percent of the samples taken. Costa Coffee tested positive in 70 percent of samples. 

There is a reason why watchdogs check the ice machines for contamination and dangerous bacteria. Previous investigative reports have revealed that a poorly maintained restaurant ice machine is little more than a cesspool of filth and bacteria. Lab tests in 2013 found that ice from fast food restaurants is dirtier than toilet water. In that study, UK branches of McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Starbucks and other fast food restaurants contained more bacteria than the water found in the restaurants’ commodes.

While these studies have been carried out in restaurants in the U.K., the results can be expected to be about the same in the U.S. The issue relates not only to the water itself, but also to the bacterial growth that can occur in the ice machine. Combine this with a lack of hygiene on the part of the workers and you have a recipe for disaster. 

Ice machines are not the only hidden source of fecal bacteria. An investigation back in 2008 found that two-thirds of all restaurant lemon wedges were found to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria — including fecal bacteria. In all, 25 different, and potentially dangerous, microorganisms were discovered on the wedges.

The fact that people are not keeling over from foodborne pathogens en masse is proof that your body is equipped to handle these types of infectious assaults, but that certainly does not mean there’s no health risk. Children, the elderly and anyone with a poorly functioning immune system are among the most vulnerable to contaminated water. 

Frequenting fast food restaurants and drinking sweetened beverages are factors that will take a toll on your immune function. This could render you more susceptible to experiencing health problems from contaminated ice. Simply put, fructose and artificial sweeteners pose serious health concerns. To make matters worse, previous research revealed that a full 48 percent of soda fountains at fast food restaurants contain coliform bacteria -- a bacteria that grows in feces. Eleven percent also contained E. Coli.

Even water has its own set of concerns. Before the environmentally destructive (and costly) bottled water craze struck, if you wanted a drink of water when you were out and about in a public locale, you took a sip from a nearby drinking fountain.

Today, many are reluctant to sip from a public, free-flowing water supply due to the ick factor alone. Drinking fountains are shared by many, including those who may be sick. Some fountains have been found to contain potentially dangerous levels of bacteria. A quick drink probably poses little risk of disease transmission in most cases, but municipal water is often intentionally contaminated with fluoride. 

There is a simple solution to the beverage quandary. Bring a reusable water bottle that you fill at home. Filtering your water is no longer optional. Water pollution is a significant problem. Drinking water may be contaminated with gender-bending pharmaceutical drugs, agricultural runoff, industrial waste and heavy metals released by deteriorating infrastructure. There is also the issue of the toxic chemicals used during water treatment.

An even more healthful solution is to consume living water. Energized water can recharge your mitochondria, and deep springs are one excellent source. You can also promote structured water through vortexing or cooling it to 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Reverting tap water back into a vitality boosting element can provide enormous health benefits.

As for the water bottle, my personal favorite, and the kind I use myself, is glass. Glass is nontoxic and does not leach any undesirable contaminants. Simply fill it up from your filtered tap at home and you'll have a supply of fresh, pure water to last you all day.
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