Government agencies have recently emphasized the importance of food safety. Reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses within the home requires American consumers to put government refrigeration and freezer recommendations into practice; however, little research has been conducted regarding
the use of proper refrigeration and freezer storage practices by consumers. A random sample survey was conducted to examine attitudes and practices of proper refrigeration and storage techniques of consumers in Peoria County, Illinois, and to determine whether gender, age, education, and income
level have an effect on these variables. Eighty-one of 500 random sample surveys mailed were returned between 10 January and 15 February 2005. The majority of the participants were female (56, 69.1%), were 50 to 59 years old (18, 22.2%), had a bachelor's degree (33, 40.7%), and had a reported
total household income of $60,000 or greater (39, 91.4%). Average attitudinal scores indicated that participants thought it was important to take proper steps to prevent foodborne illnesses in the home; however, 68.8% of participants scored poorly on the practice portion of the survey.
Only 12.3% of participants stated that they had a thermometer in their freezer, and 24.7% had one in their refrigerator. Eighty-four percent of respondents did not store eggs correctly in the refrigerator. No significant relationships (P < 0.05) were found within this sample population.
These results suggest that further evaluation of consumer practices and attitudes is needed to better understand consumers so that they can be effectively educated about the prevention of foodborne illnesses at home.
Document Type: Research Article
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois 61790-5060, USA
Publication date: July 1, 2006
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