Food services and commercial restaurants have gained more space in people’s lives. Thus, people are more concerned about food security and sanitary hygiene. The present study evaluated practices of manipulation and contamination of environments and the preparation of surfaces in commercial restaurants in Vitória-ES, Brazil. Data on good practices were collected through a checklist proposal based on the RDC 216/2004; air samples were collected via the simple sedimentation technique, while surfaces (countertops and utensils) were sampled via the swab technique to analyze the presence of microbial indicators (n = 12). Regarding buildings, facilities and utensils block, 50% of the restaurants were classified as unsatisfactory. In food handlers and storage and transport of prepared food blocks, 58 and 100% of the restaurants, respectively, were classified as unsatisfactory. 83% of the restaurants being classified as unsatisfactory in documentation and registration block, with emphasis on the lack of or inadequacy of the Good Practice Manual. The hygienic and sanitary conditions were considered unsatisfactory in most restaurants evaluated, representing a low agreement with the legislation. Air contamination levels were above the recommendations, which indicates inadequate practices in some of the establishments. All establishments were unsatisfactory when mesophilic bacteria were analyzed on countertops surfaces. Values of the order of 105 of aerobic mesophiles for knifes were observed. These results, together with the high percentage of inadequations, indicate the need for immediate action for control and prevention as well as a greater supervision by the competent organizations. Actions to reduce the risks of contamination and to ensure greater consumer safety are crucial.
Key words: Food quality, food service, quality control.
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