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CBC testing finds potential hotel hazards

November 19, 2012

TORONTO — An investigation reveals ice machines and air vents in hotels harboring potentially dangerous bacteria, including Escherichia coli (E. coli), according to the CBC News.

air ventAnalysis of air vents unearthed mold, rust, dust and pathogens, while bacterial tests on ice machines discovered coliforms, a possible sign of fecal contamination, the article stated.

"That's substandard. That's not what you would expect from a hotel, be it a budget hotel or a high-end botique,” said microbiologist Keith Warriner.

"The minimum standard is to have clean ice, and it's not difficult. All you have to do is maintain the machine, and it's obvious they're not doing that," Warriner added.

According to the article, the investigation consisted of thousands of bacterial tests conducted in dozens of rooms at six hotel chains in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, including budget hotels EconoLodge and Super 8, mid-range hotels Best Western and Holiday Inn and the luxurious Fairmont and Sheraton.

Air vents also rated high on the list of areas in a hotel room with elevated bacterial contamination: Using an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) meter — which measures microbial contamination on a numerical scale — high levels of contamination were found on multiple air vents, including one that had a "shocking" rating of 202,090, the article noted.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.