a1 Department of Biological Sciences, The Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5GD
The relationship between visual inspection ratings given to ten food retail premises and the microbiological quality of food samples was examined. Viable counts of bacteria and of Staphylococcus aureus were determined for cooked meat samples from each of the premises. There was no correlation between potential risk of foodborne infection, as assessed by total inspection rating, and bacteriological counts in food (P < 0·05). Neither was there a consistent relationship between scores given to any component of the total rating and the bacteriological quality of food.
The effectiveness of the current UK inspection scheme in assessing risk of foodborne infection is questioned. Inclusion of appropriately weighted criteria such as food temperature abuse is suggested to improve the scheme.
(Accepted October 02 1994)
c1 Dr R. W. Attwell.