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Monday, June 10, 2013
'Toi-Latte' Made With Toilet Water: New From Starbucks
A Starbucks cafe in Hong Kong's posh financial district, which used water from a s--thouse tap to brew coffee, has prompted a torrent of angry reactions from customers.
The coffee shop, in the famous Bank Of China Tower, has been using the water from a tap in a public toilet to make beverages since its opening in October 2011.
Images from local newspaper Apple Daily showed the tap with a sign that said "Starbucks only" a few feet away from a urinal in the dingy latrine, which the paper said was in the building's car park.
"Totally disappointed! The initial decision by Starbucks to use water from toilet is a clear sign of your company's vision and the level of (dis)respect your company has for the health and mind of your customers," Kevin L wrote on the Starbucks Hong Kong Facebook wall.
"I'm now really worried when I purchase coffee from Starbucks. Who knows which other stores are using the similar practice! Scary!!"
Cristiane Guimaraes commented on her Facebook wall, "I stick to my McCafe (from McDonald's) and the water is not from a toilet!"
The water was collected less than five times a day by staff from a tap in a lavatory located near the store, Starbucks explained, adding that it was dedicated for collecting drinking water.
"There is no direct water supply to that particular store, that's why we need to obtain the drinking water from the nearest source in the building," said Starbucks spokeswoman Wendy Pang.
The water from the toilet tap would go through a filtration system in the store ensuring it passed local and World Health Organisation standards, she added.
"The issue that is more worrying is... the potential risk of transferring pathogens from the restroom environment into the Starbucks food preparation area," said Hong Kong University School Of Public Health associate professor Benjamin Cowling.
"I wouldn't go to the restaurant in the first place if I knew they were having potentially risky hygiene practices."
The outlet is now using distilled water. So, order away.