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Best-before date mass experiment

food storage temperatures registered by Swedish school pupils

Marklinder, Ingela and Eriksson, Mattias (2012). Best-before date mass experiment. I/In: IAFP European Symposium on Food Safety, 21-23 Maj 2012, Warzawa, Polen.
[Conference Paper]

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The fourth Friday in September is Researchers’ Night, instituted by the European Commission. In autumn 2011 a mass experiment focusing on refrigeration temperatures was organized through 72 Swedish schools.
Rationale and Objectives
A correct temperature might increase the best-before durability of food, which is positive in an environmental perspective. The objective was to investigate the food storage temperature in Swedish refrigerators and to use best-before-date labeling to determine whether school children considered the food items edible. The experiment was performed by 1,812 school pupils attending grades 2 through 12 and ‘folk high school,’ who registered the temperature on different shelves in their own family´s refrigerator. The teachers handed out thermometers (Moller-Therm (+0.5/- 0.1◦ C) and the school pupils registered their data online.
Results and Findings
The temperature on middle shelves at the back was the coldest (average 4.8 ◦C, SD 3.1). Dairy products, meatballs and sausages exceeded the recommended 8◦ C in almost one quarter of cases. In 75 percent ground beef was stored at higher temperatures than recommended (average 5.5◦ C (SD=3.72). Even though the use-by date had been passed in 30 percent of cases, the pupils did not rate them as inedible. The experiments contributed to increased discussions of food hygiene, food storage and resource management. The majority of the teachers also agreed to that pupils’ interest and understanding of food labeling, food hygiene, food storage and environmental aspects increased.
A relatively high proportion of food items were stored at higher temperatures than recommended. The mass experiment contributed to an increased interest and knowledge of food hygiene, food storage and resource management among pupils.

Authors/Creators:Marklinder, Ingela and Eriksson, Mattias
Title:Best-before date mass experiment
Subtitle:food storage temperatures registered by Swedish school pupils
Year of publishing :21 May 2012
Page range:1
Publisher:Institutionen för kostvetenskap, Uppsala Universitet
Publication Type:Conference Paper (Poster)
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:Q Food science > Q02 Food processing and preservation
Q Food science > Q51 Feed technology
Subjects:Obsolete subject words > INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS > Domestic science and nutrition
Keywords:Bäst före datum, Matsvinn, Massexperiment
Permanent URL:
ID Code:8916
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Energy and Technology
Deposited By: Mattias Eriksson
Deposited On:01 Jun 2012 08:23
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:51

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