McDonald’s Touchscreens Have Lots of Bacteria in UK, What About in the US?
Recently, McDonald's touchscreen menu kiosks in the U.K. were tested in an investigation by metro.co.uk. Traces of fecal matter were found on each touchscreen menu that had been tested.
Let's be upfront about something, this is NOT at all, in any way bashing McDonald's anywhere, or the idea of self-serving touchscreen menu kiosks, which can actually be very helpful and efficient to many customers at any given establishment.
That being said, it was quite alarming to see that an investigation found harmful bacteria that could potentially cause infections on the touchscreen menu kiosks tested at McDonald's in the U.K. If that's the case overseas, who's to say that it's not the same in the U.S?
When I read this, I immediately thought of McDonald's I'd been to, not necessarily locally, but in other cities in the U.S. that have such touchscreen menu kiosks at their restaurants. The places I've used them were in Chicago and at the airport in Minneapolis. It made me think of the hundreds of people using those same touchscreen menus throughout the day. It's disturbing to think that a similar result could be a possibility anywhere in the U.S. Harmful bacteria on touchscreen menu kiosks.
We've also confirmed that McDonald's in the Bismarck-Mandan area are in the process of getting or already have those same touchscreen menu kiosks.
There are many other establishments throughout the country that use touchscreen kiosks. If you've been to an ATM recently, you've probably used a touchscreen that hundreds of people have also recently used.
Senior lecturer in microbiology at London Metropolitan University Dr. Paul Matewele weighed in on the original U.K. investigation, saying:
Touchscreen 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 touchscreen machine once.
However, if any touchscreen kiosks are cleaned often, this is a problem that can easily be avoided.
I don't want this to sound like I'm picking on McDonald's, they just happened to be the subject of the initial investigation done in the U.K. In fact, I'll probably go there to get food after writing this, and then later tonight, use an ATM.
It's really a matter of using proper hygiene upon using such technology. We don't always think about it and often take it for granted. But at least it's a problem that has a simple solution.