McDonald’s touchscreens among the most bacteria-ridden areas of the restaurants


Think the toilets are going to be bad? Watch out for the touchscreens in McDonald’s restaurants. They’re full of bacteria you shouldn’t expect to find there.

You may have heard that some of the worst areas in the home and office are where there’s technology. Keyboards, phones, and tablets all hold onto various types of dangerous strains of bacteria. The same applies in McDonald’s when it comes to the touchscreens.

After looking into eight different UK locations (two in Birmingham and six in London), researchers found that all the touchscreens have fecal and gut bacteria. They’re some of the most dangerous strains, with some becoming resistant to antibiotics for various reasons.

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Metro learned from Dr. Paul Matewele at London Metropolitan University that the touchscreens had bacteria that cause the type of infections most people will get in hospitals. One of the concerning bacteria strains is Enterococcus faecalis, which is a natural part of healthy humans and mammals and found in the gastrointestinal tract. However, it can lead to infections in those with compromised immune systems or struggling with a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut (yes, there are healthy bacteria out there).

Staphylococcus is another strain that was found on the screens, especially in one unnamed location. This is a highly contagious and dangerous form that can lead to toxic shock syndrome and blood poisoning. It often starts around the nose, meaning people transfer it onto the screens after touching their nose. Then it transfers to others and can get into open cuts.

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Most people will use the touchscreens and then pick up their food without washing their hands. It’s a common procedure since many will stand to the side after using the machines to wait on their order.

This isn’t to condemn the machines, which McDonald’s say are regularly cleaned. However, customers need to keep the information in mind, so that they wash their hands after using the machines before picking up the food. It’s better to be on the safe side.

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Do you use the McDonald’s touchscreens? Will you order at the counter from now on? Share your thoughts in the comments below.