Do you think Starbucks coffee tastes a little weird? Maybe it’s not because they’re over-roasting their beans, but rather because there are fecal bacteria in there. A recent investigation blew the lid off of a disgusting trend amongst three major coffee chains that ranks up there as my number one coffee related nightmare I didn’t know I had.


Before I go force myself to puke, what chains were tested and where are they?

A recent investigation found varying amounts of fecal bacteria in iced coffees at Starbucks, Costa Coffee, and Caffe Nero. They were all located in the UK because that was the only place where the study was done.


If I don’t live in the UK does that mean I’m safe?

Not necessarily, just because you don’t live in the UK doesn’t mean there’s no poop in your coffee. The study was not a worldwide study, it only tested UK stores so there is no telling what happens in your stores at home.


So where exactly was the fecal bacteria found?

The investigators tested the tables, trays, high chairs and ice in the three chains. Costa Coffee tested the worst with a staggering seven out of ten samples of ice were found to contain the bacteria. Starbucks and Caffe Nero, however, had comparatively lower levels, both coming in at three out of ten, which I guess you could call a silver lining but it’s not much of one. If you ask me, any number besides zero out of ten is going to have me dusting off my French press and making my own coffee.


I hate to ask this, but what happens when you get fecal bacteria in your mouth?

Well, you could probably do the basic math: Eating poop gives you diarrhea. But more worrying is that fecal bacteria is a sign that other scarier germs are present. Usually, if you find something that gross, you can find Hepatitis A or Norovirus or even Salmonella. So you know that’s a bad sign when poop is the least of your worries.


So where are these disgusting germs coming from?

You’re not going to like this, but I guess you probably wouldn’t like any answer that I give you, the bacteria is likely coming from the employees not washing their hands. I guess they must not read the signs next to the mirror, or maybe they do wash their hands but they don’t sing the happy birthday song while they do it. Who knows what they’re doing with their dirty hands but they are transferring germs onto the ice with their dirty, disgusting, bare hands.



What’s going to change?

Costa said that they have already updated their ice-handling guidelines and is actually bringing in new freezers to hold the ice in.

That is the response you would expect when you hear some horrible news like this.

Starbucks however just said that they take hygiene very seriously and they are going to conduct their own investigation. Caffe Nero, the worst offenders, said something similar. This is not exactly a favorable response because now who knows what they’re really going to do?

Well, at least they’ll help me slow down on the caffeine.