Fountain soda is poopy - literally

CBSNEWS.COM | 01/08/10

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Could you be guzzling down germs?

Research from Hollins University, in Roanoke, Va., finds you very well could be, if your drink came from a cafeteria or restaurant soda fountain.

Researchers tested 30 soda fountains and analyzed them for microbial contamination. They found many of the beverages from them were contaminated with bacteria. Coliform/fecal bacterium was detected in 48 percent of them. The potentially deadly bacteria E. coli was found in 11 percent of the tested drinks.

Dr. Alanna Levine, a primary care physician, said on "The Early Show," contaminated fountain drinks could be a potential health threat to people who are weakened by illness.

"We all have bacteria living in our bodies normally," she said. "It becomes more of a problem for people with compromised immune systems -- so people on chemotherapy, cancer, HIV, that sort of thing."

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