Written by Ian Ord
“Water? You mean, like in the toilet?” That’s a line from Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, but it applies to a recent Starbucks cafe located in the Bank of China tower, Hong Kong. In this particular Hong Kong Starbucks, toilet water was actually used for coffee. In the bathroom, a urinal was tapped and the water was sent through a filtration system before going into everybody’s latte. The cafe has been doing this since October, 2011, when it first opened in the tower. The story, which appeared in Apple Daily, caused angry reactions from customers.
The water was collected less than five times a day by staff from the tap. A spokeswoman for Starbucks said that there was no direct water supply to the store, so they had no choice but to get the drinking water from the nearest source (why they just didn’t use bottled water isn’t explained).
Said Hong Kong University School of Public Health associate professor Benjamin Cowling:
“The issue that is more worrying is…the potential risk of transferring pathogens from the restroom environment into the Starbucks food preparation area. I wouldn’t go to the restaurant in the first place if I knew they were having potentially risky hygiene practices.”
Other sources for this article: France24