Beverages from several local soda fountain machines contaminated with bacteria


The study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology has gotten national attention. It could have restaurants taking a closer look at how well they clean their machines.

Hollins Biology Professor Renee Godard and her team were surprised at what they found when they tested 90 different sodas and the water from 30 different soda fountain machines in the Roanoke area. 70-percent of them had bacteria present.

“We found over 300 bacteria in half of a milliliter,” said Amy White, Hollins University Professor.

Half a milliliter is barely enough for a swallow.

Almost every time Dirk Amtower drank from a fast-food restaurant or convenience store soda fountain, he claims he would end up sick to his stomach.

“Often times within 30 minutes to an hour I start getting a rumbling in my stomach and I start getting sick,” said Amtower.

Maybe not surprising when you take a closer look you at what Hollins researchers found.

“Almost 12-percent of the samples tested contained E. coli,” said White.

E. coli that would’ve come from fecal matter.

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