Concerns are being raised today about the amount of pre-packed sandwiches that are being stored or displayed at the wrong temperature, which can lead to food poisoning.
A study from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland tested 948 sandwiches from retailers and caterers across the country.
A total of 29% of them were being stored or displayed at the incorrect temperature, that being higher than 5˚C.
The study found that four of the five sandwiches, which were classified as unsatisfactory or unacceptable/potentially hazardous, were stored above 8˚C, with one sandwich displayed unrefrigerated at 17.9˚C.
For three of these sandwiches, there was at least one day remaining until the use-by date expired, which could have allowed even more bacteria to grow.
The FSAI says the survey highlights an unacceptable disregard for temperature control.
“Storing pre-packaged sandwiches at the incorrect temperature can lead to food poisoning," said FSAI chief executive Prof Alan Reilly.
“The onus is on retailers and caterers to ensure pre-packaged sandwiches are refrigerated at the recommended temperature of 5˚C or cooler.
“Hospitals and other establishments, which cater for vulnerable patients and the elderly, should be vigilant in monitoring temperature control and use-by dates.
“Equally important, manufacturers must ensure that accurate and realistic use-by dates are applied to the sandwiches they make.”