KFC sign
KFC has launched an investigation after faecal coliform was found by the BBC Getty

KFC has said it is launching an investigation after a BBC series found faecal bacteria in the ice served at a Birmingham outlet of the fast food chain. An undercover researcher was served the ice and water which later tested positive for high levels of the faecal coliform.

According to Dr Margarita Gomez Escalada, who studied the sample for the BBC program Rip Off Britain, "The presence of faecal coliform suggests that there's faecal contamination either on the water that made the ice, or the ice itself, and so it increases the risk of getting sick from consuming this ice."

The sample was taken from the KFC at Martineau Place, a shopping centre in Birmingham. A Costa, Chicken Cottage, Cafe Nero and Wimpy were all also tested, all had previously scored a zero on food hygiene ratings. The other samples came back either with low or harmless levels of bacteria.

KFC said it was "extremely disappointed" by the results and had "immediately launched an investigation". It added that the company was undergoing "a retraining programme with all team members on our standards for touch point cleaning and procedures" and that the chain takes "food safety and hygiene extremely seriously".

In February 2016, there were 973 restaurants scoring zero on the food hygiene rating. Stores are not required to show the food hygiene rating in the window, meaning those with low scores often won't. Though all scores are available online at the Food Standards Agency's website.