A sanitation profile scoring form for evaluating sanitation in retail food stores was designed. The profile was tested in 10 Oregon retail markets to evaluate its ability to reflect sanitary conditions. At the time of inspection, samples of meat processed in-store were purchased for microbiological analysis to explore the feasibility of bacterial quality as a measurement of sanitary conditions. Microbiological tests performed included total aerobic plate count (A PC), coliform, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, and Salmonella. Certain deficiencies were noted in the profile designed; however, it provides a means for objective, uniform measurement of sanitary conditions. Data show no correlation exists between microbiological quality of products processed in the store and total store profile sanitary conditions. Fifty percent of the products sampled exceeded bacterial load guidelines currently enforced in Oregon. These “high” counts appear to be directly related to poor temperature control.
1Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Paper Number 5235.