Cinema drinks contain "unacceptable" levels of bacteria

14 May 2018 09:02

Fizzy drinks from three of the UK's biggest cinema chains have shown to contain "unacceptable" levels of bacteria

Fizzy drinks from three of the UK's biggest cinema chains have shown to contain "unacceptable" levels of bacteria

Cinema drinks contain "unacceptable" levels of bacteria

Fizzy drinks from three of the UK's biggest cinema chains have shown to contain "unacceptable" levels of bacteria, a BBC investigation has found.

Cineworld, Odeon and Vue were among the 30 cinemas who had their drinks tested as part of the BBC's Watchdog programme.

Seven of these branches were found to be selling drinks with shockingly high levels of bacteria.

"Hygiene failure"

Tony Lewis, an environmental health expert, has voiced concerns regarding the findings, saying they are "an indicator of hygiene failure".

Bacteria such as salmonella and listeria were found in drinks and drinks holders, respectively, at Odeon cinemas, Watchdog reported.

Ten drink samples were tested from each company, and seat fabrics, cup holders and ice cubes were also brought under investigation.

Watchdog found that four of the 10 drinks sampled at Cineworld were high bacteria, the worst of which contained 70 times the acceptable amount. The cinema with the most contaminated drink was Odeon. One sample had 10,000 times the acceptable level of bacteria.

Mr Lewis, head of policy at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said: "That's the highest I've seen. And that is an indicator of equipment not being kept clean. That's a worry."

"Surprised and disappointed"

Mr Lewis said that it's concerning that "owners of cinemas, managers of cinemas, are not taking their responsibilities seriously and potentially keeping on top of the issues."

He added that the bacteria levels in the drinks were the most concerning, as they are ingested immediately. Conversely, bacteria found on seats does not reach the mouth, so this is of least concern.

Odeon have told the programme that they are "surprised and disappointed" at the findings, as they take hygiene "incredibly seriously". Cineworld, too, has stated that they have a rigorous cleaning routine in place, and that seats and cup holders are cleaned thoroughly each day, and that ice machines are emptied and cleaned weekly.

Vue rejected the findings, saying it "follows strict hygiene procedures daily". They also claimed they worked with "third-party water experts, exceedingly the requirements for water testing."

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