You know how conspiracy theorists believe technology will eventually rise up against mankind and wipe us all out? Thanks to McDonalds – specifically, their futuristic touchscreen ordering systems – robots might manage it before they even become “woke”.
One restaurant touchscreen tested positive for Staphylococcus bacteria, which can lead to nasties like pneumonia and meningitis
Some stellar investigative journalism performed by The Metro found that of the touchscreens they tested, every single one had traces of faeces on it.
All the self-serve machines – the ones that people touch before they merrily tuck into their Big Mac Meal – have traces of poo on them. Seriously.
Dr Paul Matawele, from London Metropolitan University’s Microbiology department, 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.
“For instance, Enterococcus faecalis is part of the flora of gastrointestinal tracts of healthy humans and other mammals. It is notorious in hospitals for causing hospital acquired infections.”
One more time for those at the back. You could potentially catch infections that are common in hospitals in some McDonald’s restaurants.
And we’re not just talking about a dodgy stomach here. One restaurant touchscreen tested positive for Staphylococcus bacteria, which can lead to nasties like pneumonia, meningitis, and toxic shock syndrome.
“Seeing Staphylococcus on these machines is worrying because it is so contagious,” said Dr Matawele, adding that there are “worries at the moment that staphylococcus is becoming resistant to antibiotics”.
“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,” he said.
Others tested positive for Listeria, which can lead to miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women; Proteus, which is found in human and animal faeces; and Klebsiella, bacteria associated with urinary tract infections, septicemia and diarrhoea.
You might wonder what Maccies has to say about all this.
“Our self-order screens are cleaned frequently throughout the day,” a spokesperson said. “All of our restaurants also provide facilities for customers to wash their hands before eating.”
Cool. Perhaps the Golden Arches won’t make such a great wedding venue after all.