Former Worker Shares the ‘Gross’ Truth About Fountain Drink Machines

Recently, the cleanliness of soda fountain machines has come under scrutiny. A series of incidents reported by individuals have raised concerns about the hygiene standards of these popular beverage dispensers.

A Disturbing Discovery

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A woman named Brynn recently shared her unsettling experience with the water she obtained from a soda fountain machine. She recounted that she filled an empty plastic jug with water from the machine at a fast-food restaurant.

Leaving the jug in her car for about a week, she noticed the development of reddish-brown particles in the water, which she described as resembling “spores”.

Brynn was unsure of the exact cause of this phenomenon, stating,

“I don’t know if it’s from the machine. I don’t know if it’s from sitting in the heat, but I ain’t never seen water do that so something ain’t right.”

This incident has sparked a conversation about the potential health risks associated with consuming beverages from soda fountain machines.

@brynnnniethepooh It was wendy’s idk why i said arbys
♬ original sound – Brynn

Public Reactions and Concerns

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Viewers had a variety of opinions regarding the questionable condition of the soda fountain water.

One person noted,

‘My mom was the ONLY one who ever cleaned the soda nozzle where she worked and it was caked with mold when she started … guys clean the nozzles.’

An individual alleged to be an employee at Coca-Cola mentioned,

‘Looks like syrup lines were mixed into the water lines. Water could have had sugar in it. Need a line replacement/flush/sanitize.’

Another person noted,

‘I source my water from a natural spring on the side of the road, and I have discovered year-old bottles in my car that remained clear and seemed fresh to the sight and smell.’

One more comment in the thread indicated a growing distrust of fountain drinks at several outlets: ‘This discussion is making me ponder if I should abstain from getting fountain beverages from fast food joints, with the exception of Panera Bread which seems to maintain cleanliness and safety,’ a user expressed.

Another Worker’s Testimony

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Adding to the growing concerns, another individual recounted a horrifying experience while working for a construction company a few years ago.

During remodeling a restaurant and bar, they discovered that the plastic tubing used in the soda fountain machine was infested with mold.

This revelation further emphasized the potential health hazards of these machines, prompting the individual to opt for canned and bottled beverages instead.

#stitch with @Brynn
♬ original sound – Just_Be_Sovereign

A Call for Increased Vigilance

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Illustration. Photo Credit:fizkes/Shutterstock.

Recent studies have raised concerns about the cleanliness of soda fountain machines in restaurants.

A study conducted in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia found that nearly half of the sodas dispensed from a sample of 30 machines contained coliform bacteria, indicating possible fecal contamination. The bacteria were resistant to several antibiotics tested, and the source of contamination remains unclear, though it seems to originate from the machines themselves rather than the water supply.

In a related development, McDonald’s has announced plans to eliminate self-serve soda machines in its US restaurants by 2032. This decision comes as consumer behavior has shifted significantly since the onset of the pandemic, with a surge in drive-thru and delivery services and a decrease in dine-in experiences.

The fast-food giant is adapting to these changes with new restaurant designs featuring smaller or no dining areas and enhanced digital sales platforms.

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Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.