How much bacteria is on your soda can?

Posted at 2:48 PM, Nov 21, 2018

This holiday season, you may be stocking up on canned drinks for parties and guests. Well, you'll want to clean off those cans before handing them out!

Investigator reporter Jace Larson tested soda cans for bacteria, and what he found was pretty gross.

The cans tested came from a variety of places, including grocery stores, convenience stores, vending machines and cans stored in a home. 

All but one of the cans tested had mold on it.

The highest mold count was 600 colonies of mold. That can came from a grocery store.

This type of exposure could make people with compromised immune systems or lung disease sick.

To put that number of colonies into perspective-- a flooded home could have 2,000-plus colonies of mold, while a condemned home could have roughly levels around 36,000.

However, microbiologist Helene Ver Eecke, with the Metropolitan State University of Denver, says the 600 colonies of mold isn’t really a cause for concern.

“Regular microbial load that we are constantly dosing ourselves with everything that we touch with everything we breathe,” Ver Eecke says. “It's just part of being human.”

One soda can did test for bacteria levels that would be slightly concerning. The can—purchased from a convenience store--had the highest levels, with 3,700 bacteria colonies on it.

But compared to dry cereal mixes, which can have up to 100,000 bacteria colonies and deemed safe to consume by FDA standards, the colonies found on that can were significantly less.

"There was one sample that came from a convenience store that had a higher bacterial count than samples, which makes sense because they were probably stocked probably appropriate for people to wear gloves when stocking," explains Ver Eecke.

If you’re worried about the amount of bacteria, Ver Eecke recommends seeking other options.

"There may be other options for you a bottle or other things to try to help keep you safe."