Fecal bacteria traces found in McDonald's Burger King and KFC outlets in UK

Traces of fecal bacteria were found in drinks at three of the world's biggest fast-food chains in the UK.

An investigation had revealed that McDonald's, Burger King and KFC served ice in drinks contaminated by fecal matter. Investigators from the BBC consumer show "Watchdog" conducted tests on 10 samples at each of the chains for traces of "fecal coliform," which carried several diseases.

Three samples of McDonald's drinks, six of Burger King's and seven at KFC sites were found to contain coliforms. Four of the samples taken at Burger King and five at KFC were found to contain "significant" levels of the organism.

In a response, which was reported widely in the media, a KFC spokesman said: "We are shocked and extremely disappointed by these results."

"We have strict procedures for the management and handling of ice, including daily and weekly inspections and cleaning of the ice machine and storage holds, as well as the routine testing of ice quality across our business."

Burger King's said in its response: "Cleanliness and hygiene are a top priority for the Burger King brand."

"The strict procedures we have in place are designed to ensure all Guests have a positive experience each time they visit our restaurants," the Burger chain added.

The development follows BBC's investigation last month in which iced drinks from popular high-street coffee chains Starbucks, Costa, and Caffe Nero were all found to be contaminated with varying levels of bacterial faeces.

KFC, the worst offender, immediately shut down the ice machines to conduct its own investigation.

"We are awaiting the results of independent testing of the ice that will confirm they are back up to the standards we expect," it added.