Chicken doner kebabs (n = 71), taken from 71 retail shops along the major public transportation routes in the city of Vienna (subway), were analysed for selected pathogens and hygiene indicator bacteria. Salmonella sp. was detected in one, and Listeria monocytogenes in three kebabs (25 g sample aliquots). Other Listeria species were detected in seven samples. Campylobacter sp. was not found. The numbers of Staphylococcus aureus in the meat component were <4 log cfu/g, which is below the minimum infectious dose commonly associated with food-borne illness. Total aerobic count (TAC) in the meat component ranged from 2.6 to 7.6 log cfu/g, with a mean of 4.4 +/- 1.2 log cfu/g, which was ca. 1.26 log units lower than that of the vegetable component (P<0.05). E. coli was recovered from 23 and 18 of the meat and vegetable components (25 g aliquots), respectively. With exception of TAC, no significant differences were found between meat and vegetable component. This might be attributed to cross-contamination when heat treated meat and raw vegetables are assembled to form a ready-to-eat product. Thus, the analysis of the meat component taken directly from the cone or heating plate (as done in several other studies) will most likely underestimate the actual hygiene condition and exposure of the consumer to foodborne pathogens by a complete retail-ready doner kebab.