Evaluation of the hygiene of ready-to-eat food preparation areas and practices in mobile food vendors in the UK.

Christine Little*, Satnam Sagoo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study was undertaken to assess the cleanliness of food preparation areas, cleaning methods used, and the microbiological quality of water used by 1258 mobile food vendors in the UK. Samples collected included potable water (1102), cleaning cloths (801) and environmental swabs from food preparation surfaces (2704). Cleaning cloths were more heavily contaminated with Aerobic Colony Counts, Enterobacteriaceae, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus compared to surfaces sampled. Surfaces that were visually dirty, wet, and chopping boards that were plastic or damaged also had high levels of these bacteria. Fifty-four percent of potable water samples were of poor microbiological quality; i.e. contained coliforms, E. coli and/or enterococci. A documented food safety management system was only evident in 40.1% of vendors and cleaning schedules were only used by 43.6%. Deficiencies in the correct use of cleaning materials, such as dilution factors and the minimum contact time for disinfectants, were identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-443
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Health Research
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

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