Hotel ice, air hold potential hazards, CBC test finds

CBC Marketplace tests found coliform bacteria, including one case of E. coli, on ice machines in six different hotel chains. (CBC)
Ice machines and air vents in hotels tested by CBC Marketplace were found to house potentially dangerous bacteria, including E. coli.Analysis of air vents unearthed mould, rust, dust and pathogens, while bacterial tests on ice machines discovered coliforms, a possible sign of fecal contamination. Traces of coliform bacteria were found on ice machines in each of the six hotel chains tested. One test found a non-deadly strain of E. coli bacteria. Poor maintenance is giving rise to potentially dangerous bugs, said microbiologist Keith Warriner. “That’s substandard,” he said. “That’s not what you would expect from a hotel, be it a budget hotel or a high end. “The minimum standard is to have clean ice, and it’s not difficult,” he said. “All you have to do is maintain the machine… and it’s obvious they’re not doing that.”