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 Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

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: Making Waves

Computer scientists use wave packet theory to develop realistic, detailed water wave simulations in real time. Their results will be presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference.

Think about the last time you were at a lake, river, or the ocean. Remember the ripples of the water, the waves crashing against the rocks, the wake following...

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nanostructures taste the rainbow

29.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technique unveils 'matrix' inside tissues and tumors

29.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Cystic fibrosis alters the structure of mucus in airways

29.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>