Checks on Welsh coffee shops for faecal bacteria in ice

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Coffee shops across Wales have faced random checks on ice used for drinks in case they contain bacteria from faeces.

The move has come in response to the BBC's Watchdog programme which tested three of the UK's biggest coffee chains.

The show found some samples from drinks at 30 branches of Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero around the UK contained the bacteria known as faecal coliforms.

Now the Welsh Food Microbiological Forum has ordered checks.

They will be carried out by individual councils and started just over a week ago.

"Although the BBC survey was small, members of the Welsh Food Microbiological Forum were sufficiently concerned to order a Wales-wide survey to test the microbiological quality of ice used in coffee shops," said its chairwoman Helen O'Loughlin.

"Sampling will be managed in each local authority area by their own food safety officers. If any results are found to be unsatisfactory food safety officers will investigate immediately."

It is not known how many coffee shops will be tested or the length of time checks will be made but initial results are expected later this year.

Watchdog has also since tested take-away restaurants including McDonald's, Burger King and KFC, but they will not be included in the forum's current checks.

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