The pleasure generated by a cup of steaming coffee is indescribable. At any time of the day, coffee, whether at home or the office, enlivens the sensations and keeps us alert.
It is euphoric, conciliatory, and allows us to advance in our objectives; but despite all these kindnesses, we rarely ask ourselves these questions: what is inside the coffee pot, are we washing it properly, should we disinfect it?
The truth is that domestic coffee machines (filter and capsule) are spaces where humidity is concentrated and allow the development of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) that are potentially pathogenic. This has been reported in studies carried out in Europe and the United States.
In a study carried out by the University of Arizona, Dr. Charles Gerba reported the presence of Streptococcus and Escherichia coli in 50% of the evaluated coffee machines; while scientists from the University of Valencia (Spain) identified the existence of at least sixty seven bacterial species in the analyzed units, highlighting the pathogenic potential of Enterococcus, Clostridium, and Pseudomonas.
The above-mentioned bacterial species can cause respiratory (Streptococcus and Pseudomonas) and diarrheal (Escherichia coli) infections. However, it is important to mention that the general population has a moderate to low risk, while in the vulnerable population (older adults and people with chronic diseases) the risk increases substantially.
It is important to note that in coffee machines the water reaches its boiling point; however, this is a relatively short time (seconds) and is not enough to eliminate the bacteria. Neither does the microbicidal effect of caffeine manage to eradicate them; therefore, the best way to stay away from bacteria and fungi is to clean and disinfect all removable parts of the coffee maker.
It is recommended to do this process at least once a week, although the ideal would be every time we prepare the coffee. Wipes impregnated with disinfectant, commercial chlorine, or even vinegar are products that have antiseptic properties and will keep bacteria and fungi away from the deserved and necessary cup of coffee.