Everyone loves the convenience and ease of using a Keurig 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. New questions loom, however, about just how safe and healthy these machines and the coffee pods that come with 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 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, she added, is not hot enough to accomplish that either.
Other problems related to Keurig machines include their non-recyclable pods and the use of composite plastic in the material.
"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 commented in response to the story on the site's Facebook page.
"Any coffee maker should be cleaned every time empty, or at least once a day. Run vinegar thru it every 2-3 dsys, 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 added.
Sources: Healthy Holistic Living / Photo credit: Healthy Holistic Living