Remember Keurig K-cups and similar style coffee markers? Do you have one or know someone who does? Make sure they read this ASAP!
Everyone loves the convenience and ease of using a Keurig K-cup coffee maker to make a cup of coffee. With just one single cup and a quick push of a button, a fresh cup of coffee brews in seconds. There’s no wasting coffee when you don’t finish the entire pot, and there’s much less cleaning to do because you’re never rinsing out a coffee pot or a filter.
New questions loom, however, about just how safe and healthy these machines and the coffee pods used in them really are. Healthy Holistic Living researched several concerns regarding K-cups and Keurig machines — including questions about the freshness of the coffee in a K-cup, the potential exposure to toxins as a result of the process involved in producing the beverage, the chemicals used to flavor the coffee, and how the coffee is sealed and filtered in the plastic pod.
As it turns out, Keurig machines cannot be completely drained and dried after each use, which calls into question just how clean and sanitary the machines are. “Once your Keurig home brewer has been primed, you cannot empty the water from the inside. The internal tank of the brewer cannot be drained,” the company’s website states.
This opens up the potential for mold and bacteria to form inside the machine. “Bacteria forms a slick biofilm when grown in moist, dark places, and so do molds,” Donna Duberg, assistant professor of clinical laboratory science at Saint Louis University, told Healthy Holistic Living.
The coffee beans, Duberg added, are not effective enough in their antibacterial action to kill the bacteria that might be floating throughout the Keurig system during repeated usage. “There is research which shows that it is only about 50 percent effective in killing bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus mutans, and molds,” she said. The water is not hot enough to accomplish that, either.
Coffee drinkers seemed quite concerned over the cleanliness of Keurig machines on social media. “This is a great wake up call to Keurig users. I DO clean my coffee maker regularly and put in fresh water every morning. It just takes a few minutes to do. I use a Clorox wipe and then clean water. No big deal,” one reader on social media commented in response to the story posted on Facebook.
“Any coffee maker should be cleaned every time empty, or at least once a day. Run vinegar thru it every 2-3 days, then clear water. Wipe it out while still damp after you use it, wash cup piece after every cup, and never just leave water sitting in it anymore than you would leave a glass of water sitting on the counter and then drink it. Any style coffee maker is nasty and coffee tastes horrible if not kept clean,” another social media user added.
If you own one of these machines, you may want to reconsider continuing to use it, just to be on the safe side. It may be convenient, but it certainly isn’t clean.