Helsinki City Environmental Services conducted a surveillance project in 2022 to examine the traceability of meat used in restaurants and whether the countries of origin of the meat were visible to customers. The inspections also involved taking raw meat samples for analysis.
All meat samples were tested for salmonella bacteria, and some samples were also examined for EHEC bacteria.
The study included 63 restaurants, from which a total of 120 samples were collected.
Out of the 44 Finnish meat samples tested, no salmonella was detected. However, one foreign meat sample was found to be positive for salmonella. The positive sample was raw frozen chicken from Poland. No EHEC bacteria were detected.
In terms of meat traceability, 74 percent of the restaurants received an A rating, indicating compliance. Minor deficiencies (B rating) were identified in 10 percent of the establishments, while 16 percent received a C rating, indicating the need for improvement. As for the declaration of meat origin, 55 percent of the restaurants were in compliance, 24 percent received a B rating, and 21 percent received a C rating. Restaurants with a C rating were issued corrective orders. Upon re-inspection, it was found that the majority of the operators (89 percent) had addressed the identified shortcomings effectively, resulting in an A or B rating.
"Based on the findings of the surveillance project, there is still room for improvement in traceability and the information provided about food products. Food industry operators have a responsibility for the traceability of their food products and the information provided about them. Additionally, the control of cooking temperatures and meticulous handling hygiene are essential factors to consider in order to reduce the risk of food poisoning. For example, poultry should be cooked to a temperature exceeding +75°C, while other meats should be cooked above +70°C to ensure the destruction of pathogens such as salmonella," stated food inspector Maarit Lähdesmäki.
Food supervision regularly inspects the traceability of food products, the information provided about them, and hygiene matters. The results of restaurant inspections can be viewed on the website www.oivahymy.fi.