Hygiene Shocker: Restaurant Ice Dirtier Than Toilet Water

Posted by Bruce Kassover on Wed, Sep 15, 2010 @ 10:00 AM

Middle School Student Makes Startling Health Revelation

12-year-old Jasmine Roberts’ science fair project has been raising alarm bells across the foodservice industry.  Intrigued by a report she had heard about contamination in airplane water, the 7th grade student decided to look at how clean the ice was from five fast food restaurants in the Tampa area.  The results weren’t pretty.

She compared the amount of bacteria in each ice sample with the bacteria in a sample of toilet water from the same restaurant.  In 70% of the cases, the ice was more contaminated.

Jasmine theorized that the excess contamination comes from the fact that beverage ice systems aren’t cleaned as frequently as they should be and that the ice is often scooped by people who haven’t washed their hands.  Toilet water, meanwhile, comes pre-sanitized from the municipal water supply.  

It’s important to note that what Jasmine found isn’t a new threat – it’s likely that beverage ice has been similarly contaminated for years – but it does raise awareness about just how important it is to maintain good hygiene at all times, particularly where food service is concerned.

To read for yourself all about Jasmine and her remarkable report, visit

Germs Are Everywhere in Restaurants