Editors Note: We are monitoring this story from the UK to see how it develops.
The article below came out on a tabloid and it bears a more inspection before taking it at face value.
See the subsequent No The Screens are not contaminated article on Washington Post.
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.
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.”
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.’
More on McDonalds Kiosk Self-Order
- Self-Service Kiosk Cleanliness – Before and After Deployment Considerations
- From the UK and McDonalds — Dirty Touchscreens UK McDonalds
- Bluestar and Zivelo Announce Distribution Partnership
- Restaurant News – Global Payments Acquires SICOM
- Self-Order – Approach Video Showing How Unique Needs Met
- Automation Comes To McDonald’s – NPR
- HMSHost rolls out kiosk ordering with QikServe kiosk
- Antibacterial Kiosk Touchscreen Wipes Coatings
- Are McDonald’s kiosks better than cashiers?
- MCDONALDS ADDING KIOSKS TO 140 LOCATIONS IN STATE – The Denver Post, 2018-08-14
- Taco Bell Self-Order Kiosks Get Inspiration From The Airlines
- ZIVELO Wins Two Awards at ICX Summit
- Drive Thru Kiosk Solutions – Real World
- Feature – EMV Self-Service Update for Self-Order Kiosks 2018
- Wendy’s CEO Talks About Kiosks, Drive-Thrus & Future of Fast Food – The Street
|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.|