A student walks out of a restaurant of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in Shanghai, east China, Oct. 31, 2011. (Xinhua/Niu Yixin)
LONDON, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Bacteria from faeces has been found in a cup of iced water at a KFC restaurant in Birmingham, Britain, the BBC reported Monday.
An undercover researcher made the discovery as part of an investigative program on food hygiene of big-name takeaways and coffee shops by the BBC's "Rip Off Britain."
"We found high levels of bacteria in the ice," said Margarita Gomez Escalada at Leeds Beckett University, who studied the ice sample.
"The presence of faecal coliform suggests that there's faecal contamination either on the water that made the ice, or the ice itself, and so it increases the risk of getting sick from consuming this ice," she told the program.
"It's really hard to say how the faecal bacteria got to the ice that we tested. The thing I think is most likely is that it got there through manipulation. So someone touched the ice and their hands weren't particularly clean."
The KFC said that it was "extremely disappointed" by the ice test results and had launched an investigation, adding that it took food safety and hygiene extremely seriously.
Undercover researchers of the BBC program visited a branch of Costa in Loughborough, the Chicken Cottage in Hampstead, a Cafe Nero in Bath and the Wimpy in Basildon, as well as the KFC at Martineau Place in Birmingham.
At each location, the researchers asked for a cup of tap water with ice, as this can be a good indicator of standards behind the scenes.
Most of the samples turned up low and harmless levels of bacteria when tested, said the BBC.