According to a new study, researchers found traces of fecal matter on every McDonald’s touch screen they tested.
The British paper Metro study sent researchers to 8 UK McDonald’s restaurants and found coliforms on each touchscreen kiosk.
Senior lecturer in microbiology at London Metropolitan University Dr. Paul Matewele 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.”
Researchers said that most people did not wash their hands between touching the screens and handling their food.
One screen tested positive for staphylococcus bacteria, which can cause blood poisoning and toxic shock syndrome.
“It starts around people’s noses, if they touch their nose with their fingers and then transfer it to the touchscreen someone else will get it, and if they have an open cut which it gets into, then it can be dangerous,” said Dr. Matewele.
Dr Matewele said, “Listeria is another rare bacterium we were shocked to find on touchscreen machines as again this can be very contagious and a problem for those with a weak immune system.”
McDonald’s says it does clean the screens with disinfectant, but Dr. Matewele says the cleaner was not strong enough to kill the bacteria.
A McDonald’s spokesman 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.”