News center
High-performance machines and exceptional mastery

Health inspector shares why she avoids restaurant soda machines after grim tell

Nov 15, 2023

A former health inspector has taken to social media to urge people to check a restaurant's self-service soda machine before pouring themselves a drink, saying it could make them sick otherwise

A former health inspector has revealed the tell-tale signs a restaurant's fizzy drink machine hasn't been cleaned. She explained how she checks every machine she uses - and will actively avoid drinking from them if she notices "pink, brown or orange" residue on the machine's nozzles.

Issuing a warning on Reddit, she said: "If there's a self-serve soda machine go ahead and take a napkin around the inside of the Sprite/clear-soda-available nozzle. If your napkin comes out pink, brown, or orange skip the soda.

"A Sprite nozzle should come out clear. If it's pink or orange then it's slime mould (it's actually a bacteria, but that's what we called it). If it's brown, it's likely cola.

"But if the Cola nozzle was put on the Sprite dispenser and is still brown, you know the nozzles aren't being cleaned properly."

It comes after a shocking 2010 study revealed nearly 50 per cent of the 90 soda fountain beverages taken from Virginia, America, restaurants "tested positive for coliform," a bacteria indicating possible faecal contamination. Several other samples tested positive for E.coli, while others came back with traces of Chryseobacterium minigosepticum, a bacteria that causes sickness in infants and those with a weak immune system.

But this isn't the only check the health inspector makes when entering a restaurant, as she makes sure to examine its ice machine before scooping cubes into her drink. "Also go ahead and look closely at the ice chute.

"I see green algae in those a lot," she added. Commenting on her post, one fast-food worker said: "I worked at McDonald's for a few years. We were required to pull the nozzles every night for cleaning."

Another user added: "It's good that some of those companies take into account the cleanliness of something simple like soda nozzles. Then again, they have to make sure everything is clean to pass food inspection and stuff."

A third user said: "My restaurant soaks them in carbonated water, salt, and lemons every night and it does the trick." One more user added: "Burger King had the most extensive cleaning schedule I've ever seen in a fast-food place, at least where I worked."

Do you have a story to share? Email [email protected].

Get email updates with the day's biggest stories