Per CNN, the January issue of International Journal of Food Microbiology reports that “nearly half of the 90 beverages from soda fountain machines in one area in Virginia tested positive for coliform bacteria — which could indicate possible fecal contamination.”
Something else to skeeve you out: “researchers also detected antibiotic-resistant microbes and E.coli in the soda samples.”
The microbiological state of most soda fountains — at least the ones in this study — are so horrendous that they fall below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking-water regulations.
Don’t place the blame on dirty ice cubes, either. When those were tested for bacteria, results were negative.
The issue here, of course, isn’t soda itself, but the consequences that occur when food service employees do not clean and sanitize appropriately.