Microbiologist exposes shocking truth about restaurant water

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Utah scientist’s discoveries are a reminder for us to remain vigilant about unseen germs, even in places we least expect

Representational image. — Unsplash
Representational image. — Unsplash

Ever wondered what’s lingering on the surfaces you encounter every day? 

Tim Call, a 32-year-old microbiologist from Utah, has discovered the mystery.

The Utah scientist has taken to TikTok to shed light on the hidden world of germs that infest your water ordered from a restaurant. 

In a recent nine-second video on his profile, @WhatMightGrow, Tim showcased a disturbing revelation about a popular fast-food chain’s drinks dispenser.

Have you watched it?

The footage, accompanied by a viral Spongebob soundbite, compares the bacteria from the dispenser to what it should resemble. 

The result? 

A disconcerting visual of a murky, orangey-brown liquid in contrast to a clear sample seconds later. This revelation has ignited shock and concern, with thousands expressing their disgust in the comment section.

Quarkz, a viewer, commented, “I’m never asking for a cup of water at a restaurant again!” Similar sentiments echoed in the comments, revealing a collective apprehension towards the cleanliness of common public spaces.

Tim, with a TikTok following exceeding 317,000, specialises in exposing the unsanitary truth behind everyday items. Recently, he turned his attention to cinema popcorn, unraveling startling findings in a captivating experiment.

@whatmightgrow Storytime: In this fun experiment, I went to a movie theater and tested the popcorn they sold. Additionally, for comparison, I grabbed some popcorn off the floor to show that bacteria can grow on popcorn. Unsuprisingly, popcorn from the floor is filthy. However, when I worked as an environmental microbiologist for various industries, this is a common test procedure and I would test items that would be commonly found on the floor. Often I would test factory workers shoes and EVERY SINGLE TIME I would find some of the craziest growths and via PCR it was determined to almost always have pathogens present. The most common pathogen I would see were Staphylococcus, Listeria, E. Coli, and Salmonella. The lesson of this mini experiment is to show what you would find if you were to eat things off the floor. I wish I knew this as a little kid, because I was notorious for going to the candy section where you could scoop out candy into bags, and eating any candy that was on the floor. If I were to guess, the small amount of bacteria found on the “fresh” popcorn would be Staphylococcus which is commonly found on humans and probably came from myself or the movie theater workers. The growth from the floor popcorn could literally be anything and would need PCR for identification. #popcorn #movie #microbiology #bacteria #science #fyp #longervideos ♬ Runaway – Piano Rendition – The Blue Notes & L’Orchestra Cinematique

Venturing to a local cinema, Tim collected fresh popcorn from the stand and a handful from the theatre floor. Testing both samples, the results were glaringly different. The fresh popcorn remained relatively pristine, while the floor popcorn dish displayed a thriving community of bacterial colonies and substantial patches of fungus.

As viewers grappled with the implications, comments poured in, with one person humorously noting, “So what you’re saying is; I shouldn’t eat popcorn off the floor anymore?” Tim’s experiments serve as a visual guide, answering questions about the cleanliness of everyday items.

In a conversation with Tim, he shared, “I make this content because I’ve always been curious about what was growing around me, and I wanted to visually see it.” 

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