A survey of the general microbiological quality of ready-to-eat food served in schools was undertaken across Wales, United Kingdom. Of the 2,351 samples taken, four were identified as containing unsatisfactory counts of Escherichia coli, four contained unsatisfactory counts of Staphylococcus aureus, and one contained an unacceptable count of Bacillus cereus when compared with guidelines for the microbiological quality of ready-to-eat food published by the United Kingdom Public Health Laboratory Service in 2000. No samples contained detectable levels of Salmonella, Listeria species, or Clostridium perfringens. When compared with data on the general microbiological quality of food available in Wales, the food sampled from schools was of relatively better microbiological quality.

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