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Catering services and HACCP: temperature assessment and surface hygiene control before and after audits and a specific training session Roncesvalles Garayoa, Mara Dez-Leturia, Maira Bes-Rastrollo, Isabel Garca-Jaln, Ana Isabel Vitas PII: DOI: Reference: To appear in: S0956-7135(14)00140-6 10.1016/j.foodcont.2014.03.015 JFCO 3741 Food Control

Received Date: 15 November 2013 Revised Date: 5 March 2014 Accepted Date: 11 March 2014

Please cite this article as: GarayoaR., Dez-LeturiaM., Bes-RastrolloM., Garca-JalnI. & VitasA.I., Catering services and HACCP: temperature assessment and surface hygiene control before and after audits and a specific training session, Food Control (2014), doi: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2014.03.015. This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. As a service to our customers we are providing this early version of the manuscript. The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proof before it is published in its final form. Please note that during the production process errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal pertain.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 ABSTRACT AFFILIATIONS: AUTHORS: TITLE: Catering services and HACCP: temperature assessment and surface hygiene control before and after audits and a specific training session Roncesvalles Garayoa*1, Mara Dez-Leturia2, Maira BesRastrollo3, Isabel Garca-Jaln2 and Ana Isabel Vitas2
1

University of Navarra. C/ Irunlarrea s/n, 31008 Pamplona (Spain). E-mail: rgarayoa@unav.es


2

Department of Microbiology and Parasitology. University of

Navarra. C/ Irunlarrea s/n, 31008 Pamplona (Spain).

igjalon@unav.es;
3

Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health,

University of Navarra. C/ Irunlarrea s/n, 31008 Pamplona (Spain). E-mail: mbes@unav.es * Corresponding author:

Proper application of HACCP in catering services involves monitoring decisive critical points. The purpose of this study was to assess food temperatures and surface hygiene control in two catering services in Navarra (Spain) at two different time periods: the first one after implementation of the HACCP system and the second period, after the initial supervision through audits and a specific training session regarding temperatures of products and hygienic conditions of surfaces and equipment because the majority of

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Phone: +34-948-425600 Ext 6561

Fax: +34-948-425649 E-mail: rgarayoa@unav.es

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E-mail: avitas@unav.es; mdiezlet@alumni.unav.es;

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Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Physiology.

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26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 KEYWORDS: Catering, HACCP, food safety, temperatures, surfaces detected nonconformities were related to these parameters. The recorded temperatures of 650 cooked food products within the first period showed that only 65.1% of the hot dishes had a temperature higher than 65 C, in accordance with Spanish legislation, and 12.9% of them showed a risky holding temperature (<55 C). However, the percentage

Since the significant differences observed in recorded temperatures were related to the type of meal (with or without sauces) and the type of cooking procedure, a lower safe criterion for the retention of hot dishes was suggested if the temperature is continuously maintained over 55C until serving. With regard to cleaning and disinfection, 18.3% of

cm2) in the first period, while in the second period this percentage was reduced to 13.6% in both catering businesses (p=0.021). The dirtiest surfaces were equipment such as cutting boards and meat slicing machines (>26%) compared to utensils for distribution (12.0%). As the impact of dirty surfaces on the hygienic quality of a finished product will depend on which step was being taken during dish elaboration when equipment or utensil was used, it is suggested that more restrictive limits be

product (1 CFU/cm2). Results of the study demonstrate that a specific training session

effectiveness of cleaning and disinfection, essentials for guaranteeing the hygienic quality of prepared foods.

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on these items has improved the temperature control of prepared meals and the

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established regarding utensils and equipment that are in direct contact with the finished

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the 600 analyzed surfaces did not meet the established cleaning criterion ( 100 CFU/25

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of noncomplying dishes was reduced by a half after the training session (p<0.001).

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51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 1. Introduction Catering businesses must provide foods that are gastronomically acceptable, covering the nutritional needs of the population they are intended for and conforming to a given price. But above all, they must be safe for the consumer and in no way should

particularly relevant when one considers the high quantity of prepared meals served daily by the catering industry to children in schools, hospital patients, and elderly people living in nursing homes (FEADRS, 2009).

Among the different types of catering services, the cook-serve system is the

Balzaretti, 2011). This procedure is based on a daily preparation of meals that are distributed and served with a minimum holding period (Light & Walker, 1990). Food processing by heat requires the center of the product to reach 70 C (WHO, 2006), followed by appropriate holding temperatures between elaboration and consumption to prevent the growth of any possible surviving microorganisms (Boutard & Santos, 2009). Spanish legislation establishes four preservation procedures for cooked prepared

8 C (refrigerated storage for meals consumed within 24 hours); 4 C (refrigerated

for an extended shelf life). Thermal retention is the most common election for Spanish cook-serve catering facilities due to the high acceptance of these meals as being fresh and just like homemade food, and because required equipment are more economical than those used in refrigerated systems. However, inconveniences regarding staff organization and temperature loss from isothermal receptacles during the holding

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storage for meals with a shelf life longer than 24 hours); and -18 C (frozen storage

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meals (BOE, 2001): 65 C (thermal retention, for consumption within a few hours),

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most extended type in Spain, as well as in other European countries (Marzano &

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they serve as a route of risk to human health which could lead to disease. This is

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75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 4 period must be solved, especially when prepared foods are transported to external centers at a later time. In order to obtain safe food, catering services have to implement a food safety management system based on the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control

small and medium catering enterprises are well-known (Bas, Yuksel, & Cavusoglu, 2007; Garayoa et al., 2011; Herath & Henson, 2010; Shih & Wang, 2011; Taylor, 2008a). Therefore, a flexible application of HACCP has been proposed (Taylor, 2008b; Valcarcel Alonso, 2009), promoting the Good Manufacturing Practices established in

equipment, and controlling truly decisive critical limits such as temperature/time during and after food processing. It has also been demonstrated that training is an essential part of self-control systems in order to improve food handlers knowledge regarding food safety (Pontello et al., 2005; Salazar et al., 2006). Therefore, the need for training catering personnel is recognized by European legislation (EC, 2004) and by international organizations (CAC, 2003). In addition, other factors such as supervision

training sessions alone (Ashraf et al., 2008).

prepared in two catering services in Navarra (Spain), by the surveillance of the following parameters: holding temperatures of cooked meals and sanitary operations for utensils, equipment and work surfaces. For this purpose, both parameters were evaluated at two different time periods: the first one was carried out immediately after implementation of the HACCP system and the second period was after the initial supervision through audits and once a training session took place.

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Thus, the overall objective of this work was to evaluate the food safety of meals

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may have a stronger effect on the employees' performance in safe food handling than

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prerequisite programs such as cleaning and disinfection procedures for surfaces and

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Points (HACCP) (CAC, 2003). However, the difficulties in implementing this system in

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101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 2. Materials and methods 2.1. Description of catering establishments Two catering services (A and B) were monitored in Navarra, Spain. These businesses had already implemented the HACCP system and were providing an average of 3,000 to

centers and work cafeterias). All meals were prepared, distributed and consumed the same day they were prepared. The meals were transported in isothermal containers so as to maintain temperatures, using special vehicles for this purpose. The time that elapsed between preparation and consumption ranged between 2 and 4 hours, and during this

The study was carried out over a four-year period, divided into two terms which ran from 2008 to 2009 and from 2010 to 2011. The first term corresponded to the initial stage of implementation of the HACCP system and the second covered the period subsequent to the analysis of the first audit reports and a staff training session.

2.2. Audits and training session

standardized template regarding the following issues: general information (number of

facilities and equipment, cleaning and disinfection, pest control, selection of suppliers, staff training, traceability, waste management and water control), food hygiene practices (staff uniform, hand washing, defrosting, disinfection of vegetables, cleaning and disinfection of facilities, temperature control of elaboration, proper maintenance of raw materials and warm and cold dishes, etc.) and documentation (HACCP manual, control records, etc.). Information was collected by direct observation (facilities and food

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meals, number of workers, etc.), implementation of prerequisites (maintenance of

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Annual audits were conducted in both catering services, recovering data in a

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time the prepared meals remained in airtight sealed containers.

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4,500 meals per day, respectively, to satellite centers (nurseries, school cafeterias, day

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126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 2.3 Sample collection handler's behavior) and interviewing the manager or person in charge at the time of the visit. Upon completion of the audit, a report was issued pointing out the strong points, weak points and objectives established for behavior improvement. In addition, before beginning the second period of the study, a training session was

the food hygiene basics, with special emphasis on the importance of observing the prerequisite programmes, as well as, controlling critical points, and recording correctly the performed control activities. Therefore, a one hour session was given to the workers in a participative way, including slides presentations, practical examples to record data

concepts. Some of the topics covered in this session were: Food handlers. Safe foods. Microorganisms. Pathogenic bacteria. Foods as substrate for microorganisms. Problematic products. Measures for controlling microorganisms. Heating, cooling and cleaning. Safe work practices: Good Hygiene Practices. HACCP.

Prepared meals with thermal treatment were taken every two weeks from each of the

samples were collected under aseptic conditions using sterile containers and utensils. Food temperatures and food samples were taken at the time of filling into isothermal containers which are used for transporting dishes to the dining satellites. Food temperature was recorded in the center of the food, using a calibrated thermometer with an accuracy of 0.1 C (Foodcare, HANNA Instruments). Samples were transported to the laboratory under refrigerated conditions, and the analyses were initiated on the very

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two kitchens (n = 650 in each period). On the very same day of elaboration, 5 to 7

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2.3.1. Ready-to-eat hot meals

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in basic templates and open questions to verify if they had understood the main

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conducted for the food handlers of both catering services. The purpose was to review

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151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 2.3.2. Food-contact surfaces same day that the samples were collected. The food was kept in refrigeration (3 C 2 C) until the start of the microbiological analyses.

n = 601 in the second period). Analyzed surfaces included cutting boards, slicers, knifes, steel pallets and spatulas, stainless steel gastronorms and plastic recipients for the distribution of food. Sampling was carried out after regular cleaning procedures according to the established cleaning and disinfection plan and before the beginning to

detergents and disinfectants for catering services). Rodac PCA + Neutralizing agar contact plates (BioMrieux, Marcy l'Etoile, France) were used, pressing down on the agar on the surface to be studied for 10 seconds. Samples were transported to the laboratory under refrigerated conditions and incubated immediately on arrival at the laboratory.

Microbiological tests were carried out on food samples according to the current

investigated according to the Spanish Legislation (BOE, 2001): total microorganisms, coliforms, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes. This normative was annulled in February 2010 (BOE, 2010), and according to the Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 (EC, 2005), only research of Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes was performed in the second period. All

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Legislation in each period. In the first one, the following microorganisms were

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2.4. Microbiological analysis

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work (using the products, dosage and frequencies suggested by the suppliers of usual

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A total of 1201 surfaces in contact with food were analyzed (n = 600 in the first period,

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175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 2.5 Statistical analysis samples were analyzed according to standard official methods (ISO) in an accredited laboratory following the standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005. In the case of the surface samples, Rodac agar plates were incubated at 30 1 C for 72 3 hours (Heraeus Instruments, Germany). After incubation, the colonies were counted

the plates contained >100 CFU/25 cm2.

Continuous variables were expressed as means and (standard deviations). Categorical

categories of surfaces were assessed using Fishers exact test. Statistical analyses were performed using STATA version 12.1 (College Station, Texas USA). All P values are two-tailed and statistical significance was set at the conventional cut-off of P <0.05.

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variables were expressed as percentages. Proportion differences between periods and

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and the result was expressed in CFU/25 cm2. Surfaces were considered to be dirty when

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189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 3. Results and discussion 3.1. Audits: prerequisites and HACCP deviations The level of compliance of prerequisite programs and HACCP system was verified in both catering services by inspection of facilities and evaluation of records. More

and equipment; food handling; cleaning and sanitizing; pest control; systematic supplier selection; product traceability; personnel training; waste management and water control. The first audit was conducted before training session. We found that the compliance of personnel to the training program in both catering services was very high, because

2000) or had undergone specialized training provided by the company (EC, 2004). In contrast, recurrent deviations were observed when applying the traceability programs due to the considerable volume and variety of raw materials that were used in these central kitchens. Regarding compliance of HACCP, the majority of nonconformities were related to the temperature of cooked products and cleaning and disinfection procedures. With regard to the former, temperature control and temperature recording

processing, and preservation of the prepared foods, primarily because temperatures had

Ersun, & Kivanc, 2006; Jianu & Chi, 2012; Taylor, 2008a) and highlights the lack of risk awareness with regard to a highly vulnerable issue. Compliance and monitoring of cleaning and disinfection programs was also found to be deficient. On occasion, in spite of having carried out the established cleaning and sanitizing tasks, said activities had not been recorded in the corresponding control sheets. The absence of records was justified due to lack of time on the part of the personnel. This lack of time for carrying

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not been recorded every day. This fact has also been pointed out by other authors (Bas,

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were deficient during the phases corresponding to the storage of raw materials, food

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100% of the examined workers had a food handler card for this type of work (BOE,

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specifically, the following work programs were checked: maintenance of the facilities

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214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 3.3. Temperatures of cooked meals 3.2. Specific training session out necessary basic work tasks in the kitchen has also been described by other authors (Fielding et al., 2011; Herath & Henson, 2010; Taylor, 2008a). We also found a lack of commitment and adherence to the HACCP system. This deficiency greatly hindered the effective implementation of HACCP as reported by Mortimore (2001).

Taking into account the results obtained in the aforementioned audit, a decision was made to hold a training session in each one of the two kitchens, putting special emphasis on the basic aspects of the HACCP system and more specifically, on both

importance of the information to be covered in the training sessions (Martins, Hogg, & Gestal Otero, 2012), aspects such as the duration of the program and the language to be used (for easy comprehension on the part of the food handlers) should also be taken into account (Seaman, 2010). Therefore, it was decided to give a one hour session focusing on the monitoring and accurate recording of food holding temperatures and the cleaning of equipment and utensils. Very simple templates for recording the data, with easy

The session was considered to be a success based on the improved results that were

second study period (increase of recorded activities and compliance with criteria for food temperature holding and microbiological surfaces counts, as reported in the next paragraphs).

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obtained for the two aforementioned parameters in both catering businesses during the

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application to a worker's daily routine, were presented to the personnel.

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observed deficient parameters: temperature and disinfection. In addition to the

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238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 Table 1 shows the recorded holding temperatures of 1300 cooked food products measured at the time of filling into isothermal containers. The temperatures were grouped into ranges 65 C, 64-55 C and <55 C, being assessed as safe, tolerable and unacceptable, respectively, following the criteria of Garayoa et al. (2011). It was

influence on the control of this critical point, because the percentage of meals with risky holding temperature (<55 C) decreased significantly from 12.9% to 6.0% (p<0.001). In general terms, it should be noticed that 72.5% of the recorded temperatures in both periods (n = 942) complied with Spanish legislation (65 C) (BOE, 2001), while

inadequate from the legislation point of view. However, these temperatures would not represent a health risk to consumers because they still provide protection against the growth of microorganisms, as long as the meals are properly maintained within that range until serving. In this sense, WHO sets the limit at 60 (WHO, 2006) and even a barrier of 55 C has been proposed by several authors (Bryan, McNaught, & Blehm, 1980; ICMSF, 1991; Garayoa et al., 2011). The proposed criterion of 55 C would

would be correct). However, the need to observe this limit throughout the entire

guarantee food safety.

In addition, there were significant differences in temperature retention, based on the type of food and the type of cooking. While liquid foods or sauces (soups/creams, vegetables/legumes and meals with sauce) recorded the highest temperatures, meals without sauces or subjected to short heat treatments (grilled and roast) had the lowest temperatures (p<0.001), coinciding with other previously reported studies (Garayoa et

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retention period (even if transport containers are required) must be stressed in order to

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result in a higher level of compliance (90.5% of the analyzed samples in this study

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18.1% (n = 235) had temperatures in the range 64-55 C, which is considered to be

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observed that the training session at the start of the second period had a positive

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263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 al., 2011; Irigoyen & Garca-Jaln, 1992; Lago, Vitas, & Garca-Jaln, 2001). Therefore, catering services should avoid cooking procedures or meals that are not able to maintain 55 C until serving, especially when transport to dining satellites is required. It should be noted that temperatures were taken at the time that food was distributed into

before reaching the dining rooms and cafeterias (Irigoyen & Garca-Jaln, 1992). Therefore, several proposals were made with regard to different measures to be taken so as to improve heat retention. For example, one measure involved preheating the containers before introducing the food; another measure, in the cases in which the

containers at much higher temperatures than established limits; and a third measure was to maintain the isothermal containers, loaded with the food, in heated cupboards until their transfer to the satellite dining rooms and cafeterias. In any case, we think that cooking techniques such as frying are not suitable for heat retention, meaning that in the case that caterers want to provide food cooked this way to satellite cafeterias, the cafeterias themselves should have the appropriate equipment available so as to be able

A total of 99.9% of the analyzed meals complied with the current food legislation of each period. Only one positive sample for Salmonella spp. was detected (first period). It was isolated in a roast chicken with a recorded holding temperature of 35 C, which signifies a potential risk of pathogen growth. In addition, E. coli was also present in this prepared meal and the coliforms number was higher than the allowed level (1.7 x 103 CFU/g).

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3.4. Evaluation of the hygienic quality of prepared meals

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to fry the food in situ.

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product and cooking technique would permit it, was to introduce the food into the

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isothermal containers, which also produces heat loss in terms of the time that elapses

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288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 3.5. Assessment of surfaces hygiene Despite the fact that the pathogenic bacteria L. monocytogenes and Salmonella spp. were not detected in any other meal, it should be pointed out that five samples analyzed during the first period were contaminated with E. coli and coliforms (>102 CFU/g), suggesting poor hygiene practices during processing operations. The recurrent kind of

contamination during cutting operations and distribution. Note that these five samples also had holding temperatures <55 C. No data is available regarding bacterial indicators during the second study period as current legislation for ready-to-eat food (in which prepared meals are included) only contemplates the absence of pathogens during

consider that it would be convenient to establish limits for other microorganisms for evaluating possible incorrect hygiene practices, regardless of whether or not the presence of pathogens is investigated (which are not usually isolated).

Cleaning work surfaces, equipment and utensils is the key to preventing microorganism

levels. Microbiological analysis of surfaces has been proven to be an effective tool for

hygienic behaviors in food handlers and making them more permanent. Therefore, coinciding with the opinion of other authors, we propose regular monitoring of work surfaces by means of microbial counts because this demonstrates the level of cleanliness more objectively than by means of visual inspection (Kassa et al., 2001). However, there are currently no existing microbiological criteria in Spain for evaluating hygiene of surfaces in catering kitchens. In addition, no unified criteria were found among the

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assessing the cleaning practices that are carried out in a kitchen and for improving

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contamination that can subsequently multiply in prepared foods, reaching unacceptable

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their shelf-life (EC, 2005). In agreement with other authors (Rodriguez et al., 2011), we

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contaminated samples (sliced roasted meat), suggests post thermal treatment

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313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 various publications that were reviewed (Cosby et al., 2008; Forsythe & Hayes, 1998; Henroid, Mendonca, & Sneed, 2004; Marzano & Balzaretti, 2013; Sneed et al., 2004; Solberg et al., 1990). Therefore, a limit of 100 CFU/25 cm2 ( 0.6 log10 CFU/cm2) was used in this study for determining that a work surface is clean, based on the

the Rodac plate count method does not provide reliable results when the count exceeds 100 CFU/plate (25 cm2).

As shown in Table 2, the percentage of dirty surfaces was significantly reduced in the second period of study in both catering businesses (18.3% versus 13.6%, p=0.021). This

cleanliness as a key prerequisite for the application of HACCP in these companies. It should be pointed out that although the established criterion is more demanding than that recommended by Henroid et al. (2004) for the food industry and used in other studies (< 1.3 log10 CFU/cm2), the cleanliness of the surfaces examined was higher than that obtained by other authors. Thus, our study showed that only 15.9% of the surfaces exceeded the limit 0.6 log10 CFU/cm2, while Domenech-Sanchez et al. (2011) found

mean count was 0.62 log cm2.

groups: equipment and work utensils, utensils for distribution, and distribution containers. As shown in Table 3, the dirtiest surfaces were found in the first group (19.4%). Cutting boards, mixers, meat slicing machines and work countertops were dirtier than the rest of the utensils analyzed, coinciding with the findings reported by other authors (Domenech-Sanchez et al., 2011; Garayoa et al., 2011; Irigoyen & GarcaJaln, 1992). Furthermore, we have also observed that the degree of cleanliness of

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Depending on the different uses, the analyzed work surfaces were classified into three

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counts greater than 1.3 log CFU/cm2 in 26% of samples and in the remaining 76%, the

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suggests that, after the training session, the food handlers realized the importance of

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experience of over 3000 surfaces analyzed in the catering business and on the fact that

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338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 equipment and utensils is influenced by their place of storage. Utensils that were located below work areas were dirtier than those placed on high shelves or separated from working areas. In addition, the equipment and utensils that were not used that often were also found to be dirtier (data not shown). This suggests the importance of washing

containers, significant differences were found in terms of the types of containers. Thus, containers referred to as thermos (deep isothermal container for transport) and gastronorms (container to maintain temperature in the satellite kitchen) showed worse results than trays. This could possibly be due to the depth of the containers because the

studies (Beumer & Kusumaningrum, 2003; Grinstead & Cutter, 2007) reported moisture as a main factor in the rapid growth of microorganisms and our studies showed the same results. The thermos and gastronorm containers were found to be humid more often than the trays (data not shown). Therefore, we suggest emphasizing the importance of drying within the clean-up procedures.

The impact of dirty surfaces on the hygienic quality of a finished product will depend

instrument of the first group would show a high microorganism count, the hygienic

effective. However, the dirty conditions of the equipment and utensils from the second and third groups will always directly contaminate the food already cooked and being ready-to-eat. Therefore, the importance of these cleaning levels should be stressed until the dirty conditions are virtually reduced to zero. Thus, taking into account these assumptions and the aforementioned results, we suggest establishing differences in the tolerable limits in terms of type of service, establishing more restrictive limits on

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quality of the dish could still be guaranteed if the subsequent cooking techniques were

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on the step of dish elaboration in which the equipment or utensil was used. If an

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deeper the container, the more difficult it is to completely dry it after washing. Different

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them before each use, even if they appear to be clean. With regard to the distribution

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363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 utensils and equipment that are in direct contact with the finished product than those located in pre-processing areas. Our proposal is to set a limit of 1 CFU/cm2 for utensils, crockery and cutlery, while the criteria would be kept at 4 CFU/cm2 for work surfaces and equipment, provided that subsequent sanitizing treatment is carried out. In a similar

cleanliness of work surface areas, being more restrictive for utensils and tableware (maximum 1 CFU/cm2) than for the actual work surfaces, equipment and apparatus in contact with food, allowing maximum levels of mesophilic aerobic bacteria of 100 CFU/cm2 (MAPAQ, 2009). Table 4 shows the hypothetical results of our study if the

sanitizing procedures should be made emphasizing the relevance of surface contamination depending on the type of equipment and utensils, with special attention to those used in the meals distribution.

In conclusion, verification of compliance of HACCP system through audits has helped to identify areas in which controls must be improved. Specific training sessions on holding temperatures of cooked prepared meals and on equipment and utensil cleaning

handlers in catering services. However, more realistic limits for both parameters be

guaranteeing the hygienic quality of prepared foods.

Acknowledgments We would like to acknowledge the food businesses and employees who agreed to participate in this study. We especially acknowledge the English support provided by Laura Stokes.

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established in order to improve the level of compliance but at the same time,

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procedures have improved the understanding and behavior on the part of the food

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new proposed criterion was applied. The data suggest that training in cleaning and

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way, the Canadian government establishes benchmarks for the evaluation of the

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Table 1. Temperatures of cooked dishes on isothermal containers before their transport to satellite cafeterias
No. of samples (%) No. of samples Dishes
Period 1 Period 2 94 92 91 127 113 69 64 650

65 C
Period 1 70 (94.6) 64 (84.2) 46 (59.7) 111 (72.6) 72 (64.9) 30 (30.3) 30 (50.0) 423 Period 2 93 (98.9) 86 (93.5) 64 (70.3) 106 (83.5) 81 (71.7) 44 (63.8) 45 (70.3) 519

64 C-55 C
Period 1 3 (4.1) Period 2 1 (1.1)

<55 C
Period 1 1 (1.3) 1 (1.3) 2 (2.6) Period 2 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 1 (1.1) 11 (8.7) 8 (7.1) 8 (11.6) 11 (17.2) 39 (6.0)

Starters

Soups/Creams Vegetables/Legumes Pasta/Rice

74 76 77 153 111 99 60 650

11 (14.5) 29 (37.7)

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34 (30.6) 31 (31.3) 10 (16.7) 143 (22.0)

Main courses

With sauce Fried Roast Grilled Total

25 (16.3)

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(65.1) (79.8)

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6 (6.5) 26 (28.6) 10 (7.9) 24 (21.2) 17 (24.6) 8 (12.5) 92 (14.2) 84

17 (11.1) 5 (4.5)

38 (38.4) 20 (33.3)

(12.9)

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Table 2. Percentages of dirty surfaces according to the established criterion >100 CFU/25 cm2 (> 0.6 log10 CFU/cm2). Catering Samples analyzed Period 1 A B Total
253 347 600

No (%) of dirty surfaces Period 1


32 (12.7) 78 (22.5) 110 (18.3)

Period 2
252 349 601

Period 2

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56 (16.1) 0.031 82 (13.6) 0.021

25 (9.9)

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Table 3. Percentages of dirty surfaces by group of equipment and utensils tested Work surfaces Samples analyzed
Equipment and work utensils Cutting board Meat slicing machines Mixer Knife Oven tray Shelves, refrigerators, work countertops Utensils for distribution Spatula for serving Skimmer Bucket and ladle for serving Distribution containers 556 93 90 93 93 92 95 108 (19.4)* 25 (26.9)

No (%) of surfaces >100 CFU/25 cm2

M AN U
274 92 95 87 371 94 91 93 93 1.201

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*Differences between group 1 (equipment and work utensils) and groups 2 and 3 (utensils for distribution and distribution containers) were statistically significant (p=0.007)

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24 (26.7) 20 (21.5) 14 (15.1) 0 (0.0) 25 (26.3) 33 (12.0)* 11 (12.0) 14 (14.7) 8 (9.2) 50 (13.5)* 21 (22.3) 2 (2.2) 5 (5.4) 22 (23.7) 191 (15.9)

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Table 4. Percentages of dirty surfaces according to the established criterion (>4 CFU/cm2 for all kind of surfaces) and the proposed criterion (1 CFU/cm2 for utensils and containers for distribution) Established criterion No (%) of dirty surfaces Group 1 Period 1 Period 2 65 (20.3) 43 (18.2) Group 2 17 (10.7) 16 (13.9) Group 3 28 (23.1) 22 (8.8) Proposed criterion

Group 1 65 (20.3) 43 (18.2)

Group 1: Equipment and work utensils Group 2: Utensils for distribution Group 3: Distribution containers

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Group 2 Group 3 55 (34.6) 36 (31.3)

No (%) of dirty surfaces

65 (53.7) 65 (26.0)

ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT
FOODCONT-D-13-01769 Authors: R. Garayoa, M. Dez-Leturia, M. Bes-Rastrollo, I. Garca-Jaln and A.I. Vitas Catering services and HACCP: temperature assessment and surface hygiene control before and after audits and a specific training session

Title:

Highlights

- Main deviations related to temperature and hygiene surfaces control.

- Training session improved control of both parameters in catering services. - Different tolerable limits are proposed depending on the type of surface. - Some cooking techniques such as frying are not suitable for heat retention.

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