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J Food Prot. 2012 Dec;75(12):2238-40. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-12-244.

Variation in the annual unsatisfactory rates of selected pathogens and indicators in ready-to-eat food sampled from the point of sale or service in Wales, United Kingdom.

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School of Occupational and Public Health, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5B 2K3.


The Welsh Food Microbiological Forum "shopping basket" survey is a long running, structured surveillance program examining ready-to-eat food randomly sampled from the point of sale or service in Wales, United Kingdom. The annual unsatisfactory rates for selected indicators and pathogens for 1998 through 2008 were examined. All the annual unsatisfactory rates for the selected pathogens were <0.5%, and no pattern with the annual rate was observed. There was also no discernible trend observed for the annual rates of Listeria spp. (not moncytogenes), with all rates <0.5%. However, there was a trend observed for Esherichia coli, with a decrease in rate between 1998 and 2003, rapid in the first few years, and then a gradual increase in rate up to 2008. It was concluded that there was no discernible pattern to the annual unsatisfactory rates for Listeria spp. (not monocytogenes), L. monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus, but that a definite trend had been observed for E. coli.

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