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What Does Ice in Your Soft Drink and and Toilet Water Have in Common?

What's in your soda?A 12-year-old middle school student, Jasmine Roberts, a seventh gradeer at Benito Middle School, New Tampa, Florida received first place at the Hillsborough County Regional Science and Engineering Fair by comparing the ice used in drinks at five fast food restaurants with the water from toilet bowls in the same five restaurants.

The results—seventy percent of the time the ice had more bacteria than the toilet water.

In four of the five restaurants, ice from the self-serve machines had more bacteria than toilet water, as did three out of five cups of ice from drive trough windows.

Sixty percent of the restaurant ice also tested positive for E. coli, which comes from the feces of animals and can cause serious illness.

While a certain amount of bacteria in water is considered harmless, no amount of E. coli is acceptable, however small.

We already know that soft drinks are one of the worst fluids you could drink–number one source of calories that has helped fuel the obesity epidemic in the USA–and if that’s not bad enough, now we find out that soft drinks–dispensed through insufficiently cleaned fountains or filled with contaminated ice–can expose you to more harmful bacteria than toilet water–yuk!

If you just can’t go cold-turkey and give up your fast food soda all at once–then next time you pull up to the window say “hold the ice”!

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