Approximately half of all sodas foutains from a sample of 30 machines in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia tested possitive for coliform bacteria otherwise known as fecal matter.
The study was conducted by a team of microbiologists at Hollins University, and the findings have been published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology. The team tested 90 beverages from 30 fountains
Coliform bacteria are most commonly associated with mammalian fecal matter. Many of these bacteria include Escherichia coli and Klebsiella. E. coli are at the root of many a food recall to prevent food poisonings, while Klebsiella is a culprit in the hospital and assisted living environments.
A number of other types of bacteria also were found in the foutains — including Staphylococcus (Staph). Most showed resistance to one or more of the 11 antibiotics used in the study, lead researcher and Hollins biology professor Renee Godard noted..