Science project: Ice dirtier than toilets
December 22, 2006 3:47am CST
If you have ever hesitated* to use the toilet in a fast-food restaurant because it looks dirty, you now have something new to worry about. A middle school student from Tampa, Florida, the United States, made a discovery about some fast-food restaurants in her area — she found that the ice from the restaurants was dirtier than the toilet water. For her science project, 12-year-old Jasmine Roberts collected ice samples* from five fast-food restaurants in South Florida. She then collected samples of water in the toilets of the same restaurants, placing those and the ice samples into sterile* containers*. Roberts, who works as a volunteer* with a professor at the University of Southern Florida, took the samples to the university and tested them for bacteria*. The results might just convince* you to order your next drink without ice. Roberts found that in four out of five restaurants, the amount of bacteria in the ice surpassed* that in the toilet water. In three of those cases, the ice tested positive* for E. coli* bacteria, a germ* that comes from human waste and can cause intestinal* illnesses.