1. Microbiology & Food Hygiene

Food Safety knowledge, microbiology and refrigeration temperatures in restaurant kitchens on the island of Ireland

Project Reference:




Commencement Date:

April, 2005

Project Duration:

36 months


Catering establishments, such as restaurants, cafes and canteens, are a major source of food poisoning outbreaks. The aim of the project was to identify hazards associated with food handling, storage, preparation and service in commercial catering premises throughout the island of Ireland. 

This was achieved through a microbiological survey, an audit of 100 catering establishments, and a questionnaire survey of kitchen managers’ practices and food safety knowledge. A number of key areas where catering establishments could improve their food safety practices and overall hygiene were identified in the course of this study and appropriate remedial actions were recommended.


Principal Contractor(s):

Dr Declan J. Bolton, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin


Dr Ian Blair, University of Ulster, Coleraine



Food Safety Knowledge, Microbiology and Refrigeration Temperatures in Restaurant Kitchens on the island of Ireland

Peer review:

Cunningham, R.T., Mooney, M.H., Xia, X.L., Crooks, S., Matthews, D., O'Keeffe, M., Li, K. and Elliott, C.T., Feasibility of a clinical chemical analysis approach to predict misuse of growth promoting hormones in cattle. Anal. Chem., 81(3), pp977-83, 2009.

Duffy, E., Mooney, M.H., Elliott, C.T. and O'Keeffe, M., Studies on the persistence of estradiol benzoate and nortestosterone decanoate in hair of cattle following treatment with growth promoters, determined by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A., 1216(46), pp8090-5, 2009.

Bolton, D. J., Meally, A., Blair, I. S., McDowell, D. A. and Cowan, C. (2007). “Food Safety Knowledge of Chefs and Catering Managers in Ireland”. Food Control 19 (3), 291-300.

Bolton, D. J., Meally, A., McDowell, D. and Blair, I. (2007). “A survey for serotyping, antibiotic resistance profiling and PFGE characterisation of and the potential multiplication of restaurant Salmonella isolates”. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 103, 1681-1690.

B. Maunsell, A. Meally, J. Kennedy, C. Cowan and D. J. Bolton. “Guidelines for food safety control in European restaurants: lessons from and audit and surveys”. Proceedings of the Catering and Food Safety 1 Conference, Estoril, Portugal, 28th – 29th October, 2004