From UK and McDonalds — Dirty Touchscreens UK McDonalds – Verdict — Not So Dirty

Editors Note: We originally reported this on November 28 and continued to monitor this story from the UK to see how it developed. It originated on the tabloid website — https://metro.co.uk/ which generally publishes things that only some people on Facebook are looking to believe.

The article below came out on a tabloid and it certainly bears a closer inspection before taking it at face value.

See the subsequent No The Screens are not contaminated article on Washington Post. Thank you Washington Post!

Then there is Science Alert.

Not that screens don’t need to be cleaned. They do. And they are treated with antimicrobial treatments to ensure they stay as clean as possible.

Editors Note: It is amazing to us the number of top-tier,  presumably news organizations that felt compelled to excerpt a tabloid site and push it out to the masses though.  Maybe our current President is correct in some fashion here. They need to revisit their ethics. Being first and being the most extreme in delivery can reverse the criminal act here in our opinion.  I don’t eat at McDonalds but I do read the news.  I’d rather not read tabloids or a rehash of one.

Sad to see kiosk niche sites propagate this with no restraint.  Are they working for the self-service industry or for a buck?  Appears to be a buck…


Excerpt:  “Poo found on every McDonald’s touch screen tested.”

So says a tabloid headline that conjures an image of stool smeared on McDonald’s self-order touch screens ― you know, those giant screens that people touch just before they eat their cheeseburgers.

But the reality is far more mundane, not the public health pandemonium this headline suggests.

No, there is no poop on McDonald’s touch screens. There are, however, bacteria — a lot of them. These are the same bacteria that live in people’s gut, intestines, nose, skin, mouth, throat and, yes, stool. Some live in soil and water. The article with the aforementioned headline lists the harmful bacteria that were found on the touch screens of several McDonald’s restaurants in the London area. It notes the infections and diseases people could get from them.

Also — The McDonalds order kiosk manufacturers in the US, Canada and Rest of World are using a special hardened AntiGrafitti powder coating which is resistant against aggressive, disinfecting cleaning substances. It is unknown what kind of surface treatment is used or done by the UK manufacturer.

Maintenance and design are critical steps and even more critical when it is a multi-national deployment that involves multiple providers in the supply chain.  We would estimate as high as 7-10 kiosk manufacturers involved across the world. This incident is just some restaurants in the UK.

Here is our page on Antibacterial for reference and also see our recent post on Clean Kiosks.

These strains of bacteria are not “an active threat to human health but something to be monitored,” one of the study’s authors said in a statement.

Additional excerpt: Matewele said he did not intend to place any blame on the fast-food giant and only wanted to raise awareness, especially among people who consume food at restaurants or other public places.

“If people know about it, they can do something. … They can probably take something like an anti-bacterial cleanser,” Matewele said.

In a statement, McDonald’s said: “Our self-order screens are cleaned frequently throughout the day with a sanitizer solution. All of our restaurants also provide facilities for customers to wash their hands before eating.”

 


mcdonalds kiosk customer example

 

Traces of feces have been found on every single McDonald’s touchscreen swabbed in an investigation by metro.co.uk. Samples were taken from the new machines that have been rolled out at restaurants across the country – every one of them had coliforms.

Metro.co.uk’s study with the university’s school of human sciences involved swabs taken from eight McDonald’s restaurants. Six in London and two in Birmingham.

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.’

Full tabloid article with pictures

More on McDonalds Kiosk Self-Order

Craig is a  senior staff writer for Kiosk Industry Group Association. He has 25 years of experience in the industry. He contributed to this article.