Hospital cafes run by Costa Coffee and Subway are contaminated with ‘unacceptably’ high levels of deadly bacteria, a damning investigation has found.
Researchers from BBC One’s Watchdog Live found salmonella and staphylococcus in eight branches run by the food and coffee giants.
The team, trained by a clinical microbiologist in how to correctly test for the bugs, swabbed tables, trays and ice at 10 Costa-owned cafes, 10 Subway cafes and 10 cafes run by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS).
And while salmonella and staphylococcus were found in numerous Subway and Costa branches, none was found in cafes run by the RVS.
Experts said it was dangerous to have infectious bacteria in hospital environments which are used by sick patients and people with weak immune systems.
They sent their findings back to a lab, where bacteria counts that were classed as ‘unacceptably high’ in six Costa branches, two branches of Subway.
Unacceptable levels of bacteria were also found in one branch of the RVS but neither salmonella or staphylococcus were found there.