The touchscreens you use to order food in McDonald’s restaurants contain traces of human poo alongside other bacteria, an investigation has found.
The researchers took swabs from screens in six London branches of McDonald’s and two Birmingham branches. They said they were “surprised” to see bacteria such as listeria on the screens, which can cause sickness and diarrhoea and be fatal in extreme cases.
The study was conducted by Metro.co.uk with the help of scientists from London Metropolitan University. Coliform – bacteria found in the faeces of humans – was found in all eight McDonald’s branches.
Listeria was found in two branches while staphylococcus – a bacteria that can cause blood poisoning and toxic shock syndrome – was found in one branch.
Senior lecturer in microbiology at London Metropolitan University, Dr Paul Matawele, said: “We were all surprised how much gut and faecal bacteria there was on the touchscreen machines. These cause the kind of infections that people pick up in hospitals.”
Dr Matawele added that people should not eat food without washing their hands after touching the screens.
A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “Our self-order screens are cleaned frequently throughout the day. All of our restaurants also provide facilities for customers to wash their hands before eating.”
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