Doner kebab is a popular take-away fast food, consisting of thin slices cut from a cylindrical block of minced and seasoned meat or chicken, eaten in a roll of unleavened bread with fresh salad and sauce.
The meat - usually lamb, chicken or beef - is grilled on a vertical, rotating spit.
This survey provided a follow-up snapshot to a 2004 study on the microbiological quality of kebabs sold in NSW.
Early in 2008 the NSW Food Authority undertook a small survey using 20% of the same or nearby outlets as 2004. Kebabs were purchased from 25 outlets across Sydney. Samples were tested for 4 microbes.
A very large majority of kebabs surveyed were within acceptable microbiological limits. Where results were unacceptable, appropriate action was taken.
The survey revealed a slight trend of more samples with borderline, albeit microbiologically acceptable, results compared to the previous study.
This highlights the need for industry to remain rigorous in applying appropriate food handling controls.
A report on the 2008 study is available below:
The Food Authority conducted a survey from September to November 2004 to assess the:
- level of food hygiene compliance by doner kebab outlets in NSW
- the microbiological quality of prepared kebabs.
OzFoodNet epidemiologists had reported 5 outbreaks of foodborne disease associated with doner kebabs in NSW between January 2001 and December 2003 affecting 60 people. Surveys in Victoria and Hunter Public Health Unit in NSW had also revealed microbiological food-safety problems with doner kebabs.
Significant non-compliance with the Food Standards Code for food-handling practices were noted in 16% of outlets surveyed, resulting in regulatory action.
The survey highlighted some areas of concern. In particular, good hygiene practices are essential as are the requisite food safety skills and knowledge for those working in kebab outlets.
Follow-up investigations by the Food Authority indicated that good food-handling practices and satisfactory microbiological quality of doner kebabs could be achieved in a relatively short period. Many of the failures may have been the result of poor knowledge of good hygiene practices.
Results for the 2004 study are available as:
- a summary in poster format
Food safety survey of retail doner kebabs in NSW, 2005 (pdf 242KB)
- published journal article
Jansson, E., Bird, P., Saputra, T. & Arnold, G. (2008) 'Food Safety Survey of Retail Doner Kebabs in NSW', Food Australia. Vol. 60 (3), pp.95-98.