Faeces Bacteria Found on Ice in U.K. KFC Restaurant

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The KFC logo appears on a takeaway box in Laval, France, January 25, 2016. Bacteria from human faeces has been found on ice in a KFC restaurant in Birmingham, England. Francois Monier/Getty

Bacteria from human faeces has been found on ice in a drink that was served to an undercover researcher at a KFC restaurant in the U.K.

The discovery was made by the BBC's Rip Off Britain, which was investigating food hygiene at branches of several big-name takeaways and coffee shops.

A scientist who examined the results told the show that the presence of the bacteria increased the risk of anyone who consumed the ice becoming ill.

KFC said it was extremely disappointed and had launched an investigation.

Dr Margarita Gomez Escalada from Leeds Beckett University studied the sample, which was taken from a KFC restaurant in Birmingham, England.

She told the programme: "We found high levels of bacteria in the ice. The presence of faecal coliform suggests that there's faecal contamination either on the water that made the ice, or the ice itself, and so it increases the risk of getting sick from consuming this ice."

The programme said that the KFC restaurant in question had temporarily closed for a deep clean following a zero hygiene rating only weeks before the sample was taken.

Angela Rippon, who co-presents Rip Off Britain, said: "When we reported this to KFC, they were horrified. They literally leapt to action and they got the Food Standards Agency back. This particular place now has a rating of five out five, so they're pretty good."

The presenter said the investigation highlighted the importance of hygiene ratings labels, which restaurants in England have no legal obligation to display.

KFC said it was undertaking "a retraining programme with all team members on our standards for touch point cleaning and procedures."

The restaurant chain added that it took "food safety and hygiene extremely seriously."