Bacteria found in shop sandwiches
Sandwiches sold from sandwich bars, garage forecourts, bakers or newsagents were highest risk, confirming fears that 'cowboy operators' who prepare sandwiches in domestic kitchens and sell them cheaply to individual outlets are a growing threat to public health.
Sandwiches are now more popular than fish and chips, pizza, and hamburgers and the market has doubled in value since 1985, to pounds 1.5bn annually, according to the British Sandwich Association. About one-third of the population eat them every day, with 94 per cent eating them at least once a month. Precise sales figures are not available but the average cost is pounds 1, which means more than a billion are sold each year.
Most of the bigger food stores have added sandwiches to their range and on the whole came out of the survey well. Tesco and Asda supermarkets, however, were singled out for criticism in the Which? report published today. Listeria was found in 4 out of 10 sandwiches from one branch of Tesco. 'Levels were low, but ideally we shouldn't have found it at all,' the report said.
At an Asda branch, 4 out of 10 sandwiches contained Staphylococcus aureus, and 3 had 'unacceptable levels' of the microbe which may be present on dirty hands or an uncovered boil or septic wound.
Which? researchers bought 132 sandwiches - one every day for 10 days - from outlets in Hertfordshire, choosing the most popular fillings of prawn, chicken or ham. According to the report ' . . . over half contained more bacteria than you'd expect, had they been prepared following good hygiene practices'. Food poisoning bacteria were found in 21 sandwiches. The researchers concluded that 'in most cases, the level of contamination was low and none of these sandwiches was of immediate danger but ideally we shouldn't have found these levels . . .'
The survey also compared fillings and found sandwich bars gave the best and worst value for money - one used 86gm of prawns while another averaged only 23gm per sandwich. Four out of five sandwiches from Boots gave fewer prawns for the money than Marks & Spencer, Tesco or Sainsbury.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Bali Nine executions in Indonesia: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Bridgend based software de...
£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A specialist retail and brand c...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...