Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
VALENTE, Dario and PASSOS, Afonso Dinis Costa. Assessment of hygiene, sanitary, physical and structural aspects of supermarkets in a Southeastern city in Brazil. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2004, vol.7, n.1, pp.80-87. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2004000100010.
Although they are the main food sales sites in Brazil, supermarkets remain understudied, especially in relation to hygiene and sanitary aspects. In the city of Ribeirão Preto, supermarkets are the main food sales outlets for all social classes, although they have been generating an increasing number of complaints to the city's Division of Sanitary Surveillance (DSS). This investigation, conducted during DSS's routine inspections, evaluated the hygiene, sanitary, physical and structural aspects of all the 58 supermarkets in Ribeirão Preto, using a standard tool. Construction, equipment, utensils, raw materials, ready-made products and production flows were classified as insufficient, whereas production, manipulation and sales staff were considered regular. In the final classification, 46 (79.3%) supermarkets were considered insufficient, 11 (19.0%) regular and only 1 (1.7%) good. Some changes in legislation are suggested, such as obliging employers to hire a food expert, as well as changing the criteria used for classifying establishments in relation to sanitary aspects.
Keywords : Supermarkets; Sanitary inspections; Food safety; Sanitary Surveillance.