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original articleIssue 17 (2) 2018 pp. 159-168

András J. Tóth1,2, Katalin Szakmár3, Anna Dunay2, Csaba B. Illés2, András Bittsánszky1

1InDeRe Institute for Food System Research and Innovation Nonprofit Ltd., Budapest, Hungary
2
Department of Business Economics and Management, Szent István University, Hungary
3
Department of Food Hygiene, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary

Hygiene assessments of school kitchens based on the microbiological status of served food

Abstract

Background. According to European trends, more children eat at school canteens than ever before, therefore food safety and quality have become increasingly significant in recent years. Nevertheless, there are large differences in food safety levels in different school canteens. We hypothesize that the microbial status of the served meal represents on the general hygiene of the kitchen. Our research examines whether mesophilic aerobic bacteria measured in served food are connected with the level of hygiene in the catering unit, and whether this indicator can be used as a criterion for assessing school kitchens.

Material and methods. Meal samples were collected from six school kitchens, and mesophilic aerobic bacterial count was measured. Samples were collected on five different days, so each kitchen was monitored five times. Two meals per visit were collected: a soup and a main course.

Results. Out of the 60 samples, 26 were good (CFU/g < 103), 24 were acceptable (CFU/g: 103–105), and in 10 samples, the microbial count was found to be above the limit (CFU/g > 105). Statistical calculations revealed that microbial contamination of served meals was influenced neither by the supplier nor by the type of meal (soup or main course). However, the level of hygiene in the serving kitchen significantly affects the microbial status of meals.

Conclusion. Based on the results, a qualification system can be developed using the mesophilic aerobic bacterial count measurable in the served meal to assess hygiene. By regular determination of mesophilic aerobic bacterial count and the presence of Enterobacteriaceae, the food safety of a catering unit can be quantitatively evaluated.

Keywords: microbiological quality, school food, microbial food safety, quality assurance, rapid microbiol- ogy, contract catering
pub/.pdf Full text available in english in Adobe Acrobat format:
http://www.food.actapol.net/issue2/volume/7_2_2018.pdf

http://dx.doi.org/10.17306/J.AFS.0564

For citation:

MLA Tóth, András J., et al. "Hygiene assessments of school kitchens based on the microbiological status of served food." Acta Sci.Pol. Technol. Aliment. 17.2 (2018): 159-168. http://dx.doi.org/10.17306/J.AFS.0564
APA Tóth A. J., Szakmár K., Dunay A., Illés C. B., Bittsánszky A. (2018). Hygiene assessments of school kitchens based on the microbiological status of served food. Acta Sci.Pol. Technol. Aliment. 17 (2), 159-168 http://dx.doi.org/10.17306/J.AFS.0564
ISO 690 TóTH, András J., et al. Hygiene assessments of school kitchens based on the microbiological status of served food. Acta Sci.Pol. Technol. Aliment., 2018, 17.2: 159-168. http://dx.doi.org/10.17306/J.AFS.0564