Technology is quickly changing our lives and everyone seems to be benefiting from it. McDonald’s, for example, has been using touch interface ordering system since 2015 by installing self-service kiosks to facilitate customer orders. These kiosks are in the form of vertical touchscreens that enable customers to place their order and pay right away. This system eliminates the need to fall in line at the counter just to place your order. Needless to say, it has changed diner’s experience for the better. However, a clinical study reveals something that will make you stay away from these touchscreen kiosks.
Dr. Paul Matewele, a senior lecturer in microbiology at London Metropolitan University conducted an investigation by doing random samplings of McDonald’s touchscreen kiosks. Due to the system’s widespread application, Dr. Matewele becomes deeply concerned about the existence and potential distribution of bacteria. Samples were collected by swabbing the machines that are installed in six different England locations. And after a thorough examination, Dr. Matewele reveals to Metro what his findings are.
“We were all surprised how much gut and fecal bacteria there were on the touchscreen machines. These cause the kind of infections that people pick up in hospitals.”
McDonald’s touchscreen kiosks
To put it simply, the study shows that bacteria mostly found in poo are present on every McDonald’s touchscreen kiosks. Yikes! And to make it worse, people are unaware that they’re getting in contact and distributing these fecal bacteria among themselves. But how serious can these bacteria be? Well, aside from being disgusting. Coliform bacteria can contaminate food and water. When they enter the digestive system, these bacteria can cause gastrointestinal upset, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fever.
Aside from coliform, the study also confirms existence of other bacteria such as staphylococcus, listeria, klebsiella, and proteus strains. One of Dr. Matewele’s concerns is the staphylococcus because these contagious bacteria can cause blood poisoning and toxic shock syndrome. Listerias are also harmful bacteria that can cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women. Both klebsiella and proteus are fecal bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections, diarrhea, and septicemia.
With regards to the shocking result of the study, a McDonald’s spokesman 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.”