The aim of this study was to evaluate the good manufacturing practices in meal services in public schools and day care centres in Baixada Santista, Brazil using a health risk classification.
A total of 59 public schools and day care centres in nine municipalities of Baixada Santista – Brazil were randomly selected. The sanitary conditions were evaluated by applying a validated checklist specific to school meal service. The questions were scored according to the health risks detected. A percentage of conformity to good manufacturing practices was calculated, than schools and day care centres were classified according to health risk in relation to the scores obtained for each thematic area addressed in the checklist and in relation to the overall score.
It was observed that 62 per cent of the schools were classified as average health risk failing to comply with Brazilian legislation on food safety rules. The thematic areas that showed lower percentage of conformity to good manufacturing practices were: hand hygiene (33.9 per cent), pest control (3.4 per cent), food handlers (62.4 per cent) and food hygiene (65.4 per cent). The school meal service of day care centres presented higher conformity in the hand hygiene (p<0.01) and the environmental sanitation (p<0.05) than elementary schools.
The data observed in our study highlight the need of an effective system to monitor and evaluate the hygienic sanitary conditions in Brazil. The implementation of HACCP system may be an option with good potential to produce safer meals in school environment, nevertheless, the prerequisite program must be implemented first. Professionals with expertise in food safety can act as consultants to the school meal service and may use the data from this study as a benchmark for interventions.
This paper contain new information related the state food safety practices of Brazilian school meal service. It also presents the use of scores to determine risk. The use of health risk is a novel way to evaluate the food safety practices in school meals facilitating the implementation of corrective measures.
The authors would like to thank all the participants of this study, Symone Ferreira and Fernando Villamarin for the review, FNDE and CAPES – BRAZIL study sponsors.
Thimoteo Da Cunha, D., Stedefeldt, E. and Vera De Rosso, V. (2014), "The use of health risk scores and classification in food service: An experience in Baixada Santista's public schools – Brazil", British Food Journal, Vol. 116 No. 5, pp. 753-764. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-08-2012-0209Download as .RIS
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