Ready-to-eat salads failed by consumer watchdog

SALADS OFFERED by fast food restaurants are “not up to standard”, claims DECO, Portugal’s leading consumer protection organisation in a recent study published in its monthly publication PROTESTE. “As well as being nutritionally unbalanced, sufficient care has not been taken in washing, preparing and conserving the ingredients,” the report said.

DECO analysed 17 ready-to-eat salads from various restaurants, namely Burger King, 100% Light, Companhia das Sandes, KFC, McDonald’s and Pan’s & Company, in both Lisbon and Porto, finding problems in the way the food was prepared and its storage prior to consumption. With the exception of three restaurants (Burger King in Porto and McDonalds in Lisbon and Porto), evidence of microbiology was found in the salads, although the microorganisms did not pose a threat to public health. From a nutritional point of view, the salads did not represent a balanced meal, the most common problem, according to the January edition of PROTESTE, being the lack of carbohydrates (for example, pasta) and the excess of fat and protein.

DECO recommends greater care in disinfecting work surfaces, more attention to the temperatures at which the salads are stored and the methods used for washing the ingredients.