Research – Good practices and microbiological quality of food contact surfaces in public school kitchens

Wiley Online

Abstract

The objective of this work was to analyze the hygienic and sanitary conditions of 52 school kitchens and to investigate the microbiological contamination of surfaces that contact food. A specific checklist was used to classify the units’ health risk. Microbiological samples were collected from utensils, bench, and equipment in 10 units to evaluate the contamination levels of these surfaces. In total, 3.8% of the evaluated units had a very low health risk, and 61.5% had a low sanitary risk, indicating that most of the sites were adequately sanitary. Important failures have been identified in the block of buildings and facilities. Inadequacies related to hand hygiene, the absence of the manual of good practices and environmental hygiene were also highlighted. Microbiological analyses resulted in high counts of aerobic mesophiles and enterobacteria. Intervention with the involvement of all the actors of the National School Feeding Program is suggested for improving the situation.

Practical applications

This study is important, since it carried out the survey of the information regarding the adoption of good practices and sanitary conditions in the food production in the school environment, considering the relevance of the subject and vulnerability of the attended public. In this way, such information may guide corrective and preventive actions in the face of observed situations.

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