Our Verify team is taking on a story that went viral.

A report from the BBC claims fecal bacteria was found in ice at Starbucks.

It’s a pretty shocking claim that definitely got the attention of caffeine addicts everywhere. But is it true?

Here is what our Verify fact checkers found. First the BBC report does not indicate this is a widespread problem. They got positive tests on three of the 10 samples they took from a single Starbucks in England, and those tests did not actually find fecal matter.

What they did find was something called fecal coliform. So what is that?

According to the American Society for Microbiology, it's pretty common and doesn't necessarily indicate the presence of fecal matter.

According to the World Health Organization, if you really want to find out if there is fecal matter in water you test for E-coli, which is a much more accurate indicator.

So while we can't verify this BBC report is false, we can say you probably want to take it with a grain of salt or maybe, in this case, some cream and sugar.

VERIFY: Sources

BBC report

American Society for Microbiology

World Health Organization


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