CCTV reporters sent ice cubes from the Chongwenmen outlets of KFC, McDonald’s and Kungfu for lab tests. The KFC ice cubes were 20 times the limit, and 13 times higher than water samples taken from toilet bowls.
The amount of bacterial colonies found at McDonald’s and Kungfu ice cubes reached 120 CFU and 900 CFU (colony-forming units) per milliliter respectively, exceeding the national limit of 100 per milliliter.
The CFU level of Kungfu’s ice cubes was six times higher than toilet water, CCTV reported.
All three chains have issued apologies and promised to improve checks and disinfection of ice cube machines.
For once, Shanghai residents seem to have dodged a food scandal, the city’s food safety office said it had not found any excess bacteria in ice cubes served at local restaurants.
Gross ice isn’t limited to China. An investigation by the Daily Mail last month discovered that “the ice in six out of ten of Britain’s most popular high street restaurants contains more bacteria than the water found in their toilets”.
The CCTV report has been shared over 129,000 times on Weibo, attracting over 37,000 comments.
In February, a Shenyang woman was hospitalised after drinking coke from McDonald’s which contained detergent.
China's CCTV says KFC ice cubes are dirtier than toilet water. One weibo user dared CCTV: I'll eat KFC ice cubes if you drink toilet water.
— Kai-Fu Lee (@kaifulee) July 22, 2013
[Image credit: @snowingsafari]