Coffee machines are a staple in many homes and businesses, but they can also be a source of food safety hazards. If not cleaned and maintained properly, coffee machines can harbor harmful bacteria, mould, and yeast.
Coffee machines: the perfect habitat for deadly bacteria.
Here are some of the food safety hazards associated with coffee machines:
Bacteria: Bacteria can grow in the water reservoir, brewing chamber, and drip tray of a coffee machine. In 2018, a group of students in the United Kingdom became ill with food poisoning after drinking coffee from a vending machine coffee maker that was contaminated with E. coli. The students experienced nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea, and several of them were hospitalized.
Mould and yeast: Mould and yeast can also grow in coffee machines, especially if they are not cleaned and dried properly. Mould and yeast can cause respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and even food poisoning. In 2020, a man in Australia became ill with mould poisoning after drinking coffee from a coffee machine that had not been dried properly. The man experienced respiratory problems, headaches, and fatigue, and was treated with antifungal medication.
Chemicals: Coffee machines can also contain chemicals that can leach into the coffee, such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. These chemicals can be harmful to human health, especially for pregnant women and young children.
To reduce the risk of food safety hazards from coffee machines, it is important to clean and maintain them regularly. Here are some tips:
Clean the water reservoir, brewing chamber, and drip tray daily. Use hot, soapy water and a soft cloth.
Descale the coffee machine regularly. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for descaling.
Dry the coffee machine thoroughly after cleaning. Leave the brewing chamber and drip tray open to air dry.
Replace the water filter regularly. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for replacing the water filter.
By following these tips, you can help to reduce the risk of food safety hazards from coffee machines and enjoy your coffee safely.
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