Ice and soda water sold in some of the UK’s most popular pub chains has been found to contain traces of faecal matter, according to a new investigation by BBC One’s Watchdog. JD Wetherspoon, Slug & Lettuce, Harvester, Hungry Horse and Marston’s Two For One were the establishments named and shamed for serving contaminated drinks.
Samples were taken by undercover Watchdog reporters last month, claimed the programme. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health said the situation may be a health risk and “is a concern”. When alerted to the contamination, Slug & Lettuce “immediately investigated” its premises. Hungry Horse said it has carried out a deep clean, and staff at Two for One were said to be undergoing retraining.
JD Wetherspoon said it had “taken on board the finding of the report”, but Harvester disputed Watchdog’s scientific method.
Last year, the TV programme carried out a similar investigation in Costa and Caffe Nero, and also found faecal bacteria in their iced drinks. Both chains expressed disappointment at the findings, quoting high hygiene and strong customer satisfaction ratings at the outlets in question.
Even further back, in 2013, Swedish furniture chain IKEA withdrew its chocolate almond cake, after it was found to contain faecal matter. While the company claimed stores in the UK and Ireland were not affected, it still destroyed nearly two tonnes of the cake.