Major sanitary regulations breached by fast food outlets


An alarming number of food outlets have breached sanitary regulatory requirements ranging from employees not properly washing their hands to the storage and preparation of meals.

This is according to a survey conducted by the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) from September 2018 to March 2019 among 55 randomly selected food service establishments in Regions Four and Six.

The inspection checklist assessed six areas: food storage, cold storage, food preparation, sanitation, garbage disposal and employee hygiene.

Only 25% of the facilities practiced adequate food storage. Cold storage was satisfactory in 34% of the facilities, and only 22% had a functional temperature monitoring device (thermometer).

In regard to food preparation, only 18% effectively protected the food from contamination, whilst a mere 11% practiced meat thawing safely.

Food handlers in only 13% of establishments used gloves. As it relates to sanitation, only 4% of the establishment’s workers were observed applying the correct principles of cleaning and sanitising.

While adequate external garbage disposal was present in the majority (73%) of establishments, only 56% had adequate temporary internal garbage disposal. In regard to employee hygiene, only 20% practiced handwashing correctly and in 42% of the establishment’s workers, used no hair nets.

Microbiological samples were taken of the food; from workers’ hands, from food contact surfaces, from food serve containers, and air quality.

Of the 99 food samples submitted, 37% was unsatisfactory and of the 102 hands of workers that were swabbed after washing, 47% were unsatisfactory. In regard to food contact surfaces (cutting boards and utensils), 30% of the 125 surfaces swabbed after cleaning and / or sanitising were unsatisfactory.

Furthermore, 46% of the 48 food serve containers (food boxes) sampled were unsatisfactory. The air quality in the majority of establishments was generally satisfactory since 95% of the 64 air quality samples taken were satisfactory.


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