Traces of feces were found on every single McDonald's ordering touch screen swabbed during a recent study, according to a Wednesday report in the United Kingdom's Metro.
The research was carried out by the Metro, which swabbed the ordering touch screens at local McDonald's franchises for its study.
According to the report, the Metro tested swab kits, which were taken from eight McDonald's locations — six locations in London and two in Birmingham.
Dr. Paul Matawele of London Metropolitan University's Microbiology department commented on the report with some pretty disturbing information.
"We were all surprised how much gut and fecal bacteria there was on the touch-screen machines," he admitted. "These cause the kind of infections that people pick up in hospitals."
Matawele went on to note that one such acquired infection included the Staphylococcus bacteria, which can cause blood poisoning and even death.
"Seeing Staphylococcus on these machines is worrying because it is so contagious," Matawele explained. "It starts around people's noses. If they touch their nose with their fingers and then transfer it to the touch screen, someone else will get it, and if they have an open cut which it gets into, then it can be dangerous."
Matawele went on to deliver even more disturbing information.
"There is a lot of worries at the moment that Staphylococcus is becoming resistant to antibiotics," he added. "However, it is still really dangerous in places like Africa where it can cause toxic shock."
The study found that Listeria bacteria was also discovered at several restaurant locations.
"Listeria is another rare bacterium we were shocked to find on touch-screen machines, as again, this can be very contagious and a problem for those with a weak immune system," Matawele added.
Matawele added that the research also discovered Proteus (found in both human and animal feces) and Klebsiella, which can cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and more.
He added, "Touch-screen technology is being used more and more in our daily lives but these results show people should not eat food straight after touching them, they are unhygienic and can spread disease. Someone can be very careful about their own hygiene throughout the day but it could all be undone by using a touch-screen machine once."
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."
Matawele said that whatever McDonald's was using to clean their screens has clearly not been good enough.
You can see the full list of discovered bacterium here.