An independent study commissioned by the Foodservice Packaging Institute shows higher microbial levels in reusable to-go durable foodservice items than in reusable dine-in and single-use items.
FALLS CHURCH, Va., Aug. 3, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The Foodservice Packaging Institute commissioned an independent study to compare the sanitary quality of single-use foodservice packaging and reusable options. The results of the 2022 sanitation study show higher aerobic plate count microbial levels in reusable to-go foodservice items than in reusable dine-in and single-use items. Over 85% of the reusable to-go foodservice items tested had higher than acceptable microbial levels.
"The goal of this research was to perform a comprehensive evaluation of the hygienic condition of foodservice serviceware items, particularly the reusable takeout and delivery containers, single-use items and dine-in reusable foodservice items," said Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute. "Our previous survey conducted in 2012 confirmed that disposable foodservice items were the most hygienic. However, considering the advancements in technology and shifting models by which consumers receive their foodservice (aka delivery), we felt that it was important to examine the sanitation of foodservice in the delivery and takeout space."
Three types of foodservice items were tested: reusable dine-in, reusable to-go durables and single-use items. Sanitation levels were tested by conducting three microbiological analyses on each item. Along with aerobic plate count microbial levels, the study also compared levels of Coliform and Staphylococcus bacteria. The results show that there were no differences observed in Coliform counts and there were no significant differences between reusable dine-in and disposable items; findings which contrasted with the 2012 study. Staphylococcus was only found in very low levels across all types of foodservice items, which remains consistent with the 2012 study.
Overall, reusable to-go durable foodservice items had higher aerobic plate count microbiological levels than reusable dine-in and single-use items. Previous studies in other parts of the country have shown confirming results where reusable items had higher microbiological counts than single-use items. Variances could be attributed to any number of factors, including handling by foodservice employees or changes in dishwashing technology.
FPI members received complete survey results. A complimentary executive summary of the report is available on FPI's website. For more information, contact FPI's Ashley Elzinga.
ABOUT FPI: Founded in 1933, the Foodservice Packaging Institute is the trade association for the foodservice packaging industry in North America. FPI promotes the value and benefits of foodservice packaging and plays an active role in advancing the recovery of FSP to support the circular economy. The association serves as the industry's leading authority to educate and influence stakeholders. Members include raw material and machinery suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and purchasers of foodservice packaging. For more information, visit http://www.FPI.org.
Natha Dempsey, Foodservice Packaging Institute, 571.255.4212, [email protected]
SOURCE Foodservice Packaging Institute