Research from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has revealed that food, water, chopping boards, cleaning cloths and security wristbands sampled from mobile and outdoor food vendors were contaminated with a range of bacteria including E.coli.
The bacteria, which originates from human or animal faeces is usually an indicator of either poor hygiene, undercooking or cross-contamination in the kitchen.
The events where samples were taken included 50 concerts or music festivals, 20 sports events, 39 carnivals, fetes and fairs and 44 ‘other’ events.
8% of food samples were of an unsatisfactory quality with a further 1% containing potentially hazardous levels of bacteria.
Water samples tested revealed that 27% contained unacceptable levels of coliform bacteria which can be found in the environment in soil, water and on plants and may also be a sign of faecal contamination.
E.coli and/or enterococci bacteria (of faecal origin) were found in 8%.