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Poo found on every McDonald’s touchscreen tested

Traces of faeces have been found on every single McDonald’s touchscreen swabbed in an investigation by metro.co.uk.

Samples were taken from the new machines that have been rolled out at restaurants across the country – every one of them had coliforms.

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.

The machines have been rolled out in McDonald’s branches across the UK (Picture: Susannah Ireland for metro.co.uk)

Unsuspecting diners choose their food on the touchscreens then head to the server to pick up their burgers more often than not without washing their hands.

https://metro.co.uk/video/the-public-unfazed-poo-mcdonalds-touch-screens-1813108/?ito=vjs-link

A screen at one branch was found to have staphylococcus, a bacteria that can cause blood poisoning and toxic shock syndrome.

Dr Matawele said: ‘Seeing Staphylococcus on these machines is worrying because it is so contagious.

‘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.

McDonald’s, Oxford Street, near Tottenham Court Road station  (Picture: Susannah Ireland for metro.co.uk)

‘There is a lot of worries at the moment that staphylococcus is becoming resistant to antibiotics. However, it is still really dangerous in places like Africa where it can cause toxic shock.’

Metro.co.uk’s study with the university’s school of human sciences involved swabs taken from eight McDonald’s restaurants. Six in London and two in Birmingham.

Listeria bacteria was found in Oxford Street and Holloway Road branches. It can cause listeriosis which can lead to miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.

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.’

Three quarters of the screens swabbed showed traces of the bacteria proteus.

Touchscreens at Holloway Road, McDonald’s where listeria and other bacteria were found (Picture: Susannah Ireland for metro.co.uk)

Dr Matewele added: ‘Touchscreen technology is being used more and more in our daily lives but these results show people should not eat food straight after touching them, they are unhygienic and can spread disease.

‘Someone can be very careful about their own hygiene throughout the day but it could all be undone by using a touchscreen machine once.’

McDonald’s does clean the screens with disinfectant but Dr Matawele said it ‘could not have been strong enough.

Dr. Paul Matewele testing for bacteria at London Metropolitan University (Picture: Susannah Ireland for metro.co.uk)

He added: ‘These bacteria can be on touchscreen machines for days on end.

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.’

Which McDonalds were tested?

Oxford Circus McDonald’s

• Coliforms

• Staphylococcus aureus pseudomonas

• Enterococcus faecalis

• Proteus

• Bacillus

Birmingham, Pigeon Park, McDonald’s

• Coliforms

• Pseudomonas

• Enterococcus faecalis

• Proteus • Bacillus

• Klebsiella

Holloway Road McDonald’s

• Coliforms

• Proteus

• Baciillus

• Listeria

• Enterococcus faecalis

• Klebsiela

Oxford Street McDonald’s

• Listeria

• Bacillus

• Coliforms

• Enterococcus faecalis

• Klebsiela

Kensington High Street McDonald’s

• Coliforms

• Pseudomonas

• Micrococcus

• Staphylococcus

• Bacillus

Seven Sisters Road McDonald’s

• Coliforms

• Bacillus

• Proteus

• Pseudomonas

Bethnal Green McDonald’s

• Coliforms

• Micrococcus

• Bacillus

• Psedomonas

Birmingham, Ramp McDonald’s

• Coliforms

• Pseudomonas, E. faecalis, proteus sp, enterobacter and bacillus.

• Enterococcus faecalis

• Proteus

• Enterobacter

• Bacillus

McDonald’s, Seven Sisters Road, where bacteria was found on the touchscreen machines (Picture: Susannah Ireland for metro.co.uk)

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