[name:] Richard North
[section:] Food Poisoning
[for:] The Defence
[expertise:] Environmental Health
[date:] 28 July 1993
[status:] Appeared in court

13. The three sites visited all demonstrated high standards of what might be called "visual hygiene". However, it has been well demonstrated that there is not necessarily any correlation between visual standards and microbiological standards. It is the latter which have the most relevance to food safety and, therefore, the standard of hygiene. In this context, I have found from my own work that there can be an inverse correlation between high visual standards and the microbiological standard of the food produced.

17. In the McDonald operation, which relies on a high turnover of produce, of consistent appearance, and organoleptic quality attributes, it would be unrealistic to expect anything other than the scale of production witnessed. To that extent, high volume production - with its adverse hygiene implications is "driven" by the very nature of McDonalds, which is a high volume business. In this sense, it is fair to say that the McDonalds operation, taken as a whole, is intrinsically unhygienic - despite the emphasis on wholesome appearance and allied attributes.