Coffee Crud: Harmful Bacteria Found In Coffee Makers

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Millions of Americans wake up each day and enjoy a cup of coffee.

But, you may be getting more than just caffeine.

How about a splash of bacteria with your cup of Joe?

Thirty-eight percent of coffee drinkers are now using single serve coffee makers like the Keurig. With the tank that fills with water, and a compartment that holds a K cup, KDKA-TV’s Susan Koeppen decided to see what sort of bacteria is lingering on and in these machines.

“I’m nervous to find out what’s inside there,” says Amanda Busch who owns a Keurig.

She agreed to let us swab her machine and send it off to a lab. We also took samples from eight other machines, and our CBS sister stations in Dallas and Chicago tested 20 more.

In the end, Busch’s machine came back with 4.6 million colonies of bacteria and mold.

“It makes me want to cry,” says Busch.

She plans to go back to her routine of cleaning out her machine on a regular basis.

Our sister station in Dallas found E.coli, staphylococcus, streptococcus and pseudomonas aeruginosa and other things you don’t want to hear about when you sip your coffee.

“I thought you would find something, but not something that could make us sick,” says Stephanie Brink after the results came back on her machine.

To prevent getting sick, there are simple things you can do:

  • Clean your machine regularly
  • Run vinegar through it
  • Use filtered water rather than tap
  • Change the water after each use
  • Leave the lid off to allow the machine to air out
  • Wipe it down daily

The makers of Keurig say if the machine is not used for several days, you should run several cleansing brews to remove any internal standing water.

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