FORT WORTH – Pop the top of your favorite soda can and you can expect to find carbonated water, sugar, even sodium.
But how about stenotrophomonas maltophilia, pseudomonas luteola, and enterobacter cloacae?
CBS 11 tested 20-cans from inside North Texas grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, universities and vending machines.
“I really wasn’t expecting these to be as bad as they actually are considering the sources they came from,” said Microbiologist Karen Deiss from Armstrong Forensic Laboratories in Arlington.
Deiss showed us the 20-plates where bacteria was still growing from the samples we had returned to the lab. Yellow, white and cream colored dots covered most of the clear plastic surfaces. So much bacteria had grown the colonies were bleeding together. One plate was covered in a brownish-black hairy like fur about the size of quarter. Smaller brownish raised bubbles formed around it.
“The thought of that growing in your mouth after your drink is awful,” said Deiss.
Deiss explained that the plate was mold. The I-Team found it on a juice soda can inside the refrigerator at a corner market in Dallas. The plate also contained bacillus, a very common bacteria that Deiss explained is all around us.
Next, she lifted the lid off another plate and you could smell a potent odor coming from the small tray. This was yeast. We had swabbed this from the top of an energy drink we bought in a vending machine on a university campus in Dallas.
And science proved a waitress at a popular North Texas restaurant chain had delivered us staphylococcus on the top of a diet cola can.
We found pseudomonas aerugenosa on a pineapple soda from a vending machine outside a grocery store. While doctors and scientists tell us most healthy people should not worry about the bacteria, it can cause skin or ear infections. The germ is typically found in dirty hot tubs.
But the most concerning find came from the dust on the top of an energy drink from a gas station. Enterobacter cloacae…or coliform.
We took our results to Dr. Cedric Spak, Infectious Diseases Specialist at Baylor University Medical Center of Dallas. “It’s something from the rectum, would be a better way to describe it. It’s coliform, it’s something that lives in human and animal large intestines.”
Dr. Spak said it could mean the store clerk did not wash his hands after going to the bathroom. It be could be from a rat in the warehouse.