Focus more on cleaning utensils
The experts advise that, when using milk in any way, it is important to clean jugs, thermos flasks and the steamers of coffee machines thoroughly and frequently, using the right kind of hygienic sponges or cloths, which is not always the case. "Kitchen cloths are not suitable for disinfecting because of their microstructure, which means they transfer even greater levels of contamination", the scientists explain.
In terms of milk that is cold or at room temperature, this is usually kept in its original container in restaurants and bars a plastic bottle or tetrabrick. The study shows that containers with a lid are better, since tetrabricks opened with scissors are more exposed to microbial proliferation, and are especially vulnerable to enterobacteriaceae.
In terms of dairy products prepared in the restaurants themselves (custards, mousses, puddings and crme caramels), custards (natillas) had the highest levels of contamination with microorganisms. This may be due to the fact this was the only foodstuff analysed that is further processed after being heated, say the scientists. Cross contamination could come from the hands of the person preparing the product, particularly when he or she places the biscuit on top of the dish.
In line with previous studies, the researchers also showed that adding cinnamon to dairy products led to reduced microorganism contamination, since this substance helps to eliminate microorganisms such as Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes and bacteria from the Salmonella family.
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology