Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gross new reasons to skip soda :

If you're drinking soda, you may as well be drinking from the toilet.

Let me rephrase that: If you keep a clean throne, you might be better off drinking that water than anything from a soda fountain.

Before I give you the dirty details, you'll definitely want to get rid of any nearby soda cups, especially if they've come from a convenience store or fast food soda fountain. Don't finish them, just toss them out.

Trust me on this one.

All clear now? Good... because a new study finds that soda fountains are crawling with bacteria. Not just any bacteria, but coliform bacteria--otherwise known as the nasty little germs that grow in human and animal feces.

Researchers tested 90 soda and water samples from 30 different fast food restaurants in Virginia's Roanoke Valley. In all, 70 percent tested positive for some form of bacteria--and many of them were resistant to one or more of 11 different antibiotics tested on them, according to the study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology.

The researchers found 48 percent tested positive for coliform, 17 percent tested positive for Chryseobacterium meningosepticum and 11 percent tested positive for E. coli. They also found species of Klebsiella, Staphylococcus, Stenotrophomonas, Candida, and Serratia.

In plain English, that means there are lots of nasty germs living in those soda machines.

The bacteria appear to love the plastic tubes that send soda (and some of the bacteria) into your cup. Since customers don't touch those tubes, the researchers believe restaurant workers with dirty hands are likely contaminating them--ironically, probably when they're cleaning them.

Looks like someone's not reading those "EMPLOYEES MUST WASH THEIR HANDS AFTER USING THE RESTROOM" signs.

The researchers tested bottled soda to use as a control group and found no contamination. But there are plenty of other reasons to avoid those, too.

Soda has been linked to tooth decay and obesity. Even diet soda can help you pack on pounds--studies have found people who drink diet sodas actually gain weight, and may be even more prone to diabetes.

Soda has also been linked to lower calcium levels, leading to bone loss and osteoporosis. I could go on, but I think most of us know this stuff isn't very good for us.

Don't replace soda with other canned or bottled drinks. I've been telling you quite a bit lately about the health benefits of coffee and tea, so considering brewing your own and enjoying them--hot or iced--throughout the day.

And if you want some fizz, stick to carbonated water.

Just don't get it from a soda fountain!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I totally agree and thank you for sharing this.
    When I was in Human Resourses for a large, well known restaurant chain, I would ALWAYS check the fountain heads as they were incrusted and black. I told the employees to check these daily and remove these heads and sterilize with bleach before rinsing thoroughly and replacing. They were amazed when I showed this to them. My only question was, "Would you want this in your glass of soda"?
    3951 days ago
  • BRENDAS026
    thanks for the info! eww goood im not a soda person
    3951 days ago
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