Feet traces were found on every McDonald touch screen used when ordering meals during an investigation.
Samples were taken from eight stores – six in London and two in Birmingham – all contaminated with coliform bacteria found in human feces.
Diners using machines that have been exported to restaurants all over the UK are pointing to the server and picking up their food.
McDonald's six stores have found footprints on touch screens that guests use when ordering their food. The results found by other infectious bacteria are worrying, according to Dr. Paul Matawele of the London Metropolitan University
University Lecturer of Microbiology at the Metropolitan University of London Dr. Paul Matawele said that even though the screens are being cleaned, it is clearly inadequate.
"These bacteria can be on touch screens for days," he said.
The investigation was carried out by the company metro.co.uk and the London Metropolitan University School of Human Science.
"We were all surprised at how many suppositories and faecal bacteria were on touch screens, which cause the kind of infections people choose in hospitals.
"For example, Enterococcus faecalis is part of the flora of gastrointestinal tracts of healthy people and other mammals, and it is known in hospitals that they have caused infections by the hospital."
Samples have found traces of other troublesome bacteria, including staphylococci, which can cause blood poisoning and toxic shock syndrome.
Seeing Staphylococcus on these machines is disturbing because it is so contagious by the expert.
"It starts around people's nose if they touch their nose with their fingers and then they transfer them to the touch screen, someone else gets it, and if they have an open cut they get, then it can be dangerous.
"There are a lot of worries when staphylococcus becomes antibiotic-resistant, but places like Africa are still dangerous where they can cause toxic shock."
Listeria bacteria were found in Oxford Street and Holloway Road. It can cause listeriosis, which can lead to abortions and dead pregnancies in pregnant women.
What are coliform bacteria?
Coliform bacteria are organisms present in the environment and in the stool of all warm-blooded animals and humans.
Coliform bacteria are unlikely to cause disease. However, their presence in drinking water suggests that the disease-causing organisms (pathogens) could be in the water system.
Most pathogens that can contaminate water supply come from the excrement of humans or animals.
There are three different groups of coliform bacteria; each of them has a different degree of risk.
They are generally coliform, faecal coliform, and E. coli, all of which are indicators of drinking water quality.
Total coliform bacteria
These are commonly found in the environment (e.g., Soil or Vegetation) and are generally harmless.
Fecal coliform bacteria
It is a subgroup of total coliform bacteria. They appear in large quantities in the intestines and the stool of humans and animals. The presence of a faecal coliform form in a drinking water sample often indicates recent faecal contamination, which means that there is a greater risk of pathogen present.
This is a subset of the fecal coliform group. Most bacteria are harmless and are found in large quantities in the intestines of humans and warm-blooded animals. However, some strains may cause illness.
Source: Washington Department of Health
Dr. Matewele said: "Listeria is another rare bacterium that we were shocked on touch screens because it can be very contagious and a problem for those with a weak immune system."
Three-quarters of the nets that were smeared showed traces of bacterial protein that can be found in human and animal performance.
Dr. Matewele said: "Proteus can be found in human and animal performance, it is also widely distributed in the soil, it can cause urinary tract infections and is also one of the infections that can be responsible for septicemia.
Klebsiella is also from the intestines and mouth, associated with urinary tract infections, septicemia and diarrhea. Some species can infect the respiratory tract, leading to pneumonia. "
Dr. Matewele adds: "Touch screen technology is increasingly used in everyday life, but these results show that people should not eat food right after touching them, they are unhygienic and can spread illnesses.
"Someone can be very careful about their own hygiene all day long, but it can all be canceled with the touchscreen once."
He added: "These bacteria can be on touch screens all day long.
A McDonald's spokeswoman said: "Our custom order screens are often cleaned all day, and all our restaurants provide customers with the opportunity to wash their hands before eating."
The restaurant's tests were Oxford Circus, Holloway Road, Oxford Street, Kensington High Street, Seven Sister Roads and Bethnal Green in London and Ramp and Pigeon Park in Birmingham.
McDonald's began developing a touchscreen, often referred to as self-service kiosks, in 2015.
By 2020, it plans to have most of its 14,000 US branches installed with a touchscreen.
In the UK, McDonald 's says that in some restaurants it is currently testing kiosks and will try to install more in other places if it is successful.
This technology has been designed to increase efficiency in restaurants, speed up the ordering process, and reduce the potential human error.
|Oxford Circus||Oxford Street||Holloway Road||Kensington High Street||Seven sister roads||Bethnal Green||Birmingham, Ramp||Birmingham, Pigeon Park|