Attention coffee drinkers: your Keurig coffee machine might be making you sick.
Local CBS news affiliates have reported that Keurig machines are often a disgusting bacteria breeding ground.
According to recent tests performed by CBS stations in Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Chicago, Keurig coffee machines came back with findings of E. coli, staphylococcus, streptococcus and pseudomonas aeruginosa and other bacteria festering inside.
The news outlets swabbed various parts of 29 Keurig coffee makers and sent samples to a lab to be analyzed. More than half of the machines came back with bacteria counts in the millions, according to CBS Pittsburgh.
In Dallas, Keurig machines were found with E. coli, staphylococcus, streptococcus and pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Amazingly, 38 percent of coffee drinkers are now using single serve coffee makers like the Keurig.
“It makes me want to cry,” says Amanda Busch, who allowed CBS Pittsburgh to swab her Keurig machine. Busch’s machine came back with 4.6 million colonies of bacteria and mold.
With the tank that fills with water, and a compartment that holds a K cup, Keurig machines create an environment for possible bacteria infections, similar to the kitchen sponge that is often home to a lot of bacteria.
Asked about the situation, University of Arizona germ specialist Kelly Reynolds said:
“[Coffee makers] are certainly a moist environment where mold and bacteria are known to grow in high numbers. Our bodies can deal with them, but at some point they’ll grow to levels high enough to cause sickness.”
Properly sanitizing your kitchen is extremely important to prevent sickness.
According to a study published in the online journal Scientific Reports, your kitchen sponge might be the dirtiest item in your house!
The study explains:
“Sanitation by boiling or microwave treatment has been shown to significantly reduce the bacterial load of kitchen sponges and can therefore be regarded as a reasonable hygiene measure. However, our data showed that regularly sanitized sponges (as indicated by their users) did not contain less bacteria than uncleaned ones.”
It turns out that cleaning your sponge doesn’t significantly reduce the amount bacteria it contains.
In fact, in some cases, cleaning your sponge can increase the amount of bacteria it holds. Yep, you heard right. Instead of cleaning your dishes, you might actually be loading them with bacteria before drying them and putting them away.
If “sanitizing” a sponge only adds bacteria, Keurig users have to wonder what they can do to truly clean their Keurig coffee machines.