Irish sandwich study reveals potential danger

28 October, 2010
Page 4 

More than a quarter of pre-packed sandwiches sold in shops and cafs in Ireland are stored at temperatures higher than 5C.

A Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) study found that 29% of sandwiches were stored above the recommended temperature, while four sandwiches were kept above 8C, and one was displayed unrefrigerated at 17.9C classified as unacceptable/potentially hazardous. For three of these sandwiches, there was at least one day remaining until the use-by date expired, which could have allowed even more bacteria to grow.

The survey of 948 pre-packed sandwiches at retailers and caterers, assessed the microbiological safety of pre-packaged sandwiches and showed that 99% were satisfactory when tested for the food-borne bacteria Listeria monocytogenes and coagulase positive staphylococci.

Jim Winship, of the British Sandwich Association, said that although it recommended sandwiches should be kept below 5C, the UK level was 8C: "There shouldn't be a problem if the sandwiches are made in the right conditions and then kept at 8C."

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