Ice from fast food restaurants dirtier than toilet water

Shocking! A student's science project has concluded that ice from fast food restaurants was dirtier than toilet water 70 percent of the time.

Jasmine Roberts, a 12-year-old whose award-winning middle school science project got so much attention, collected ice samples from self-serve machines and drive-thru windows in five restaurants in South Florida.

From those restaurants, she also collected toilet water samples and conducted a test at the University of South Florida for presence of bacteria.

In several cases, Roberts found out that the ice samples tested positive for E. coli, a bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals.

Ice from fastfood restaurants is likely dirtier because machines were not cleaned and workers scoop it with unwashed hands, she said.

While on the contrary, she was surprised to find out that toilet water was bacteria-free, most probably because it comes from sanitized water supplies.

Roberts, whose interest in science was encouraged by her 18-year-old brother, Justus—an award-winning science fair veteran—decided to work on the project after reading a newspaper article about bacteria in airplane water.

Sources: ABC News, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Image courtesy of gt_pann at