Not to overdo the food safety theme, but I thought it
More than 11% of the beverages analyzed contained Escherichia coli and over 17% contained Chryseobacterium meningosepticum. Other opportunistic pathogenic microorganisms isolated from the beverages included species of Klebsiella, Staphylococcus, Stenotrophomonas, Candida, and Serratia. Most of the identified bacteria showed resistance to one or more of the 11 antibiotics tested. These findings suggest that soda fountain machines may harbor persistent communities of potentially pathogenic microorganisms which may contribute to episodic gastric distress in the general population and could pose a more significant health risk to immunocompromised individuals. These findings have important public health implications and signal the need for regulations enforcing hygienic practices associated with these beverage dispensers.And antibiotic resistant to boot! The good news, sort of, according to the researchers is that only one outbreak from about ten years ago was linked to a soda fountain. But there's an awful lot of unreported "gastric distress" out there. I guess it's not just the HFCS that soda drinkers have to worry about.
h/t the Smithsonian's Food & Think blog
Photo by Zach Klein used under a CC license