Next time you decide to eat out or get a quick bite at the local soda, keep in mind that restaurant workers in the Gran Área Metropolitana (GAM) – San José metropolitan area – do not wash their hands very well, this according to a study about the practices and attitudes in hygiene and food handling by the School of Nutrition at the University of Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Chamber of Restaurants (Cacore).
The investigation evaluated evelen CACORE member restaurants in the GAM, of which two are independents, three are franchises and six food service chains.
The coordinator of the study, Paola Páez, reveals that only 12% (1 in 8) of the total times did restaurant employees handling food wash well their hands (follow correct procedures) during the course of the day.
Páez added that the lack of necessary equipment in restaurants and bad habits of workers as the main causes.
The investigation also revealed another problem area is in the food production process, where only 36% complied with the correct procedures for proper food handling.
The study used took in three areas: food storage, food production and customer service.
The criteria used to establish correct procedures are based on the Regulations for Food Services of the Ministry of Health.
This is the first evaluation in the country on the hygiene practices in restaurants.