Like a lot of restaurants and groceries stores nowadays McDonald’s has adopted touchscreens to process orders.
I personally used one on Monday to try McDonald’s new Christmas menu, but after reading this that may well be my last time.
A recent study funded by Metro had some alarming results. Researchers took swabs from touchscreens across the country and were shocked to see bacteria such as “listeria” on the screens, which can cause sickness and diarrhea and be fatal in extreme cases.
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.
‘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.”
Unsuspecting diners choose their order on the touchscreens then head to the server to pick up their Chicken McNuggets or burgers more often than not without washing their hands. I mean do you usually wash after touching the screens?
Here’s what people thought when Metro took to the streets to ask their opinion:
Although this might sound a bit funny, some of the substances found are potentially very dangerous.
Dr Matawele continued: “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.
“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.”
The Golden Arches were quick to respond to the damaging study. A McDonald’s spokesperson 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.”
The question is: would these findings make you think twice about using their screens, or about going to McDonald’s generally?