Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Consumers' Refrigerators: a Danger Zone

03.07.2008
Research shows that only 20 percent of consumers use thermometers, and a mere 30 percent are aware that they should have them in their refrigerators.

Several experts addressed home-based food safety issues in “Consumers’ Refrigerators: A Danger Zone” Monday at the Institute of Food Technologists’ Annual Meeting and Food Expo in New Orleans.

“You don’t have to go to a restaurant or to a party to get sick,” said Fur-Chin Chen, Ph.D., a microbiologist at the University of Tennessee. He found a variety of pathogens in a quarter of the refrigerators he inspected during a recent study. Vegetable bins were the most contaminated.

Armed with such information, your home refrigerator can slow you down with more than a stomach ache if you fail to keep your food cold or to eat and store ready-to-eat foods by recommended dates.

“There is a disconnect between food safety practices and people’s confidence in preparing foods safely. It’s very hard to change behaviors,” said Danielle Schor, R.D., and a senior vice president of the food safety division of the International Food Information Council (IFIC), a nonprofit organization that addresses consumer education.

IFIC has taken up issue of safe-refrigeration cause with a customized campaign. The campaign’s main message to consumers is to purchase thermometers, keep refrigerator temperatures at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and monitor several times a day.

Aside from throwing out ready-to-eat foods by package storage dates, refrigerators need a weekly cleaning, a practice that consumers avoid. One study shows that approximately 50 percent of consumers clean their refrigerators once a month. But because consumers fail to clean thoroughly, scientists say that figure is likely exaggerated.

The best regime is to clean your refrigerator (which shouldn’t be more than 10 years old) inside and out with dish soap once a week. Allow the shelves and drawers to air dry, said Sandria Godwin, Ph.D., R.D., with Tennessee State University’s Family and Consumer Sciences.

Unexpectedly, as education and income increases, risky food-handling practices increase as well, said Sheryl C. Cates, Ph.D., at RTI International in Triangle Park, N.C. Interestingly enough, panelists couldn’t explain this phenomenon.

According to Godwin, many of us, well educated or not, think we know more than we do.

Sources:
Dani Schor, R.D., Food Safety senior vice president for International Food Information Council, 202-296-6540; schor@ific.org
Sandria L. Godwin, PhD, R.D., Tennessee State University, 615-963-5619, sgodwin@tnstate.edu
Sheryl C. Cates, Research Policy Analyst at RTI International, Triangle Park, NC. 919-541-6810, scc@rti.org

Fur-Chi Chen, PhD, University of Tennessee, 615-963-5410; fchen1@tnstate.edu

About IFT
Founded in 1939, and with world headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA, the Institute of Food Technologists is a not-for-profit international scientific society with 22,000 members working in food science and technology and related professions in industry, academia and government. As the society for food science and technology, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion of food issues. For more on IFT, visit http://www.ift.org. © 2008 Institute of Food Technologists

Jeannie Houchins | newswise
Further information:
http://www.ift.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified

05.12.2016 | Information Technology

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>