Some news organizations are going to give top priority to a little study in this month’s International Journal of Food Microbiology that found bacteria in soda fountain machines.
The CBS Early Show trotted out one of its physician-reporters, Dr. Alanna Levine, to talk about the study. It’s almost difficult to hear her over the noise of the soda fountain next to her. Sound contamination as well?
But there was none of the context that appeared on ABCNews.com, for example. Excerpt:
“Wherever man is there will be representation of feces,” said Philip Tierno, director of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at New York University Langone Medical Center.
“We’re basically bathed in feces as a society,” he said.
Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona was “not too surprised” to learn coliform bacteria were found in soda fountain machines either.
“We’ve seen it with drinking water dispensing machines where customers fill up jugs of water,” said Gerba. “You see it anytime you have something where people can touch the dispenser.”
Based on some of the online comments I’ve read, some people are sick of these “you’re going to get sick” stories. Here is some of the wisdom of the crowds in comments following the story on one site:
“I am so sick of hearing these ‘breaking stories’ about how such-and-such product has – GASP – bacteria in it. There was even something on TV the other day about how your shower head has bacteria in it, so you shouldn’t put your face directly under it. EVERYTHING has bacteria in it/on it/around it, including our bodies. We’ve become such a wimpy Purell-dependent society and it makes me angry! Our immune systems are equipped to handle 99.9999% of the stuff we throw at them, because we’ve evolved with bacteria around us since the beginning of life!”
“Study: the human mouth has millions of bacteria in it.
Study: run for cover, THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING.”
“Where are all the sick/dead soda drinkers?”
And do you think that CBS and other news organizations will now start reporting studies from the International Journal of Food Microbiology each month? There were other interesting-sounding articles in this same issue, such as:
A contribution to the alternative method to preserve foods without using chemical preservatives
Farm-to-fork characterization of Escherichia coli associated with feedlot cattle with a known history of antimicrobial use
But I guess it’s hard to beat poop in your soda on network morning TV! Put it right alongside TV sweeps period pieces on hotel cleanliness (bed bugs, air conditioning bacteria, stains on bed cover, drinking glass sanitization, etc.)