Inspection of Local Mulled Wine and Punch Stands
Mulled wine and punch are usually served at more than 70°C. Any potential bacteria or viruses in the mugs are mostly killed at these temperatures. However, bacteria or viruses could still survive around the rim of the mug or cup used. Thus, it is essential to ensure how the mugs are cleaned.
Stands selling mulled wine and punch are obliged to use dishwashers that ensure the mugs are always cleaned at the right temperature and with fresh water. Operators of larger stalls usually use their own dishwashers – smaller stands often rely on central dishwashing facilities. If neither is present, the operators are urged to use disposable cups. According to information from the food control administration, washing the mugs by hand is not acceptable during inspections. Unfortunately, it is impossible to exclude the possibility that the prescribed hygiene standards are neglected in individual cases, e.g. during peak times.
The mugs and cups taken to the lab are assessed subject to Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs, which states that any items that get into contact with food must be cleaned thoroughly and must be made and maintained in a manner to keep the risk of contamination to a minimum. Cleaning and disinfection must be carried out as many times and in such an efficient way that there is no risk of contamination.