The objectives of this study were to detect bacteria on restaurant menus, to determine the bacterial transfer from menus to consumers’ hands and to determine the survival of bacteria on menu surfaces.
Local restaurant menus were sampled at different periods of operation. The average total plate count (TPC) was 28 (0–210) cfu/15 cm2 menu sampling area during “busy” periods and 15 (0–85) cfu/15 cm2 menu sampling area during “less busy” periods. The staphylococcal count averaged 6 (0–83) cfu/15 cm2 during busy periods and 2 (0–25) cfu/15 cm2 menu sampling area during less busy periods. Escherichia coli was transferred to menus at 11.17% of the hand population with a high variability between subjects (10.45% standard deviation). Survival of bacteria in menus was 1.40% after 24 h and 1.34% after 48 h, respectively.
Bacterial populations found on randomly sampled menus were low; however, bacteria survived and were transferred from menus to a consumer’s hands.
Recovery, survival and transfer of bacteria on restaurant menus
Journal of Food Safety. 2015. doi: 10.1111/jfs.12212
Ibtehal Alsallaiy, Paul Dawson, Inyee Han and Rose Martinez-Dawson