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McDonald’s touchscreen kiosks in UK contain traces of feces

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Kiosks for ordering food sit in the dining area of a McDonald's restaurant located inside the company's new corporate headquarters on June 4, 2018 in Chicago.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

Kiosks for ordering food sit in the dining area of a McDonald’s restaurant located inside the company’s new corporate headquarters on June 4, 2018 in Chicago.

A McDonald’s spokesperson said in an emailed statement: “Our self-order screens are cleaned frequently throughout the day with a sanitizer solution. All of our restaurants also provide facilities for customers to wash their hands before eating.”

McDonald’s introduced touchscreens in the U.K. after trialing them in 2015, and they are also used in markets including Canada and Australia. In June, Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook said that when people use the self-service kiosks they tend to spend more. “What we’re finding is when people dwell more, they select more,” Easterbrook told Imagala.com’s “Squawk on the Street”. “There’s a little bit of an average check boost.”

It has been quickly introducing touchscreens in its U.S. outlets, bringing them to 1,000 stores every quarter for the next eight to nine quarters, a process that started in June.

Touchscreens may not be the worst offender when it comes to harboring bacteria. An August survey that polled 1,000 people in the U.K. found that more than a third had never cleaned their smartphone and claimed they had more bacteria on them than a toilet seat. Aside from hand-washing to prevent germs transferring, people can buy antibacterial products designed for use on electronic devices.

  • Imagala.com’s Sarah Whitten contributed to this report

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