alexa A Survey of Microbial Contamination on Restaurant Nonfood-Contact Surfaces


Journal of Food: Microbiology, Safety & Hygiene

Author(s): Dimpi Patel, Jennifer Stansell, Maia Jaimes, Kathleen Ferris, Ginny Webb

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Foodborne illnesses are a significant public health concern as they cause approximately 48 million illnesses per year in the U.S.A. It is important to identify and control potential sources of microbial contamination in restaurants to reduce the number of foodborne illnesses. In this study, we aimed to measure microbial contamination on nonfood-contact surfaces in restaurants. These surfaces include tables, chairs, highchairs and booster seats. We found the highest levels of total microbial contamination and staphylococci on booth seats and table chairs with total microbial counts of 151 and 184 CFU/100 cm2, respectively. Other surfaces found to have over 100 CFU/100 cm2 were booster seats and cleaning dishcloths. The cleaning dishcloth also contained 59 CFU/100 cm2 of enteric bacteria. These results suggest the need for more studies aimed to determine the levels of microbial contamination on nonfood-contact surfaces in restaurants with the goal of providing better recommendations for cleaning practices and procedures.

This article was published in J Food Safety and referenced in Journal of Food: Microbiology, Safety & Hygiene

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