If you’re ordering McDonald’s from a touchscreen, you may want to bring your own disinfectant.
According to a new study performed by U.K. newspaper Metro, traces of gut and fecal bacteria were found on all eight of the recently-introduced touchscreens they surveyed.
“We were all surprised how much gut and fecal bacteria there was on the touchscreen machines. These cause the kind of infections that people pick up in hospitals,” remarked Dr. Paul Matewele, a senior lecturer in microbiology at London Metropolitan University.
Samples were taken from six franchise locations in London and two in Birmingham.
Traces of listeria bacteria were found in two London locations, while staphylococcus bacteria was found on the screen of one branch. Klebsiella bacteria, which can urinary tract infections, was also detected on several screens.
According to the Center for Disease Control, Listeriosis is a serious infection that is most harmful to people with weak immune systems, newborns, adults over the age of 65 and pregnant women.
Additionally, while staphylococcus bacteria do not typically cause any major problems, “staph infections can turn deadly if the bacteria invade deeper into your body, entering your bloodstream, joints, bones, lungs of heart,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
A representative for McDonald’s tells PEOPLE in a statement that “McDonald’s assures its customers that regular daily cleaning of our self-order kiosks is policy in all US locations.”
“Our kiosks are cleaned using disinfectant cleaner with a microfiber cloth,” the statement continued.
Dr. Marewele went on to tell Metro that the study proved that people should make sure to wash their hands after using touchscreens.
“Touchscreen technology is being used more and more in our daily lives but these results show people should not eat food straight after touching them, they are unhygienic and can spread disease,” he shared. “Someone can be very careful about their own hygiene throughout the day but it could all be undone by using a touchscreen machine once.”
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Kiosks, which have already been widely introduced in several foreign countries, are rapidly becoming commonplace in the United States as well.
In June, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook told CNBC that the company planned to install kiosks in 1,000 stores every quarter for the next two years.
“What we are finding is when people dwell more, they tend to select more,” he told the outlet, opening up about the strategy behind implementing more screens.
Easterbrook went on to share that he hopes to have self-serve kiosks at all McDonald’s locations across the U.S. by 2020.