Jasmine Roberts is a 12-year-old science whiz who made headlines with the startling results from her seventh grade science fair project. After reading an article about airline ice that contained bacteria, Jasmine decided to check out the quality of ice at popular fast food restaurants.
After carefully collecting specimens for testing, Jasmine took them to a lab at the University of South Florida. When the results were in, she was speechless. "I found that 70 percent of the time, the ice in the fast food restaurants contained more bacteria than their toilet water," Jasmine says.
Dr. Juan Martinez, assistant professor of microbiology at the University of Chicago, confirmed Jasmine's results in his laboratory. The contaminated ice contained E. coli bacteria that most likely came from unsanitary practices or unclean water lines. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy humans, some strains are dangerous and cause illness. "I think you're better off not taking ice with [a drink]," says Dr. Martinez.