March 5, 2009
UK: One in 20 kebabs contains food poisoning bugs - from salads and
Source of Article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article5852400.ece
in 20 of all salads and sauces on sale at kebab takeaways contained food
poisoning bugs according to an investigation by the Health Protection Agency
and council enforcement officers.
the most contaminated salad product but bacteria that can be harmful to human
health such as e.coli and salmonella were also
found in lettuce, cabbage, onions and tomatoes.
Chilli sauce was found more likely to contain sickness bugs than yoghurt or
garlic sauces which are often served with kebabs.
The study was
conducted after 739 cases of food poisoning were linked to eating kebabs from
takeways and restaurants in the 15 years between
1992 and 2007. Some 94 people were so ill they were admitted to hospital.
poisoning is normally linked to sickness and diarrhoea
but can be fatal in the very young, the elderly or those being treated for
serious medical conditions.
taken from 1,277 kebab shops in England,
Wales and Northern Ireland
in June and July 2007.
Dr Jim McLauchlin, director of the agency’s food, water and
environmental services, said the vast majority of takeaways followed good
said it was “concerning” that standards in 5 per cent of premises were
unsatisfactory or unacceptable.
unacceptable rating means the food is not fit for human consumption whereas
unsatisfactory suggests inadequate hygiene standards.
He said: “The
results emphasise that good hygiene practices and
high standards of cleanliness must be maintained across the board at all
times to prevent food from being contaminated.
items should be overlooked. Businesses should also ensure that all members of
staff are fully trained in food hygiene practices.”
been 13 food poisoning outbreaks in England
linked to kebab takeaways. Previous studies have shown that kebab meat has
been of good microbiological quality.
study however suggests the problems may have triggered by salads or sauces.
Protection Agency advises that open foods such as salad vegetables and sauces
can become contaminated if food is not covered, stored at the right
temperature or away from contact with contaminated containers, equipment and
utensils, hands, aerosols, cleaning cloths and pests.