Food safety education initiative to increase consumer use of food thermometers in the United States

Sandra M. McCurdy (School of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA)
Masami T. Takeuchi (Food Quality and Standards Service (ESNS), Food and Nutrition Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy)
Zena M. Edwards (Nutrition Education and Food Safety Faculty, Washington State University, Thurston County Extension, Lacey, Washington, USA)
Miriam Edlefsen (Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA)
Dong‐Hyun Kang (Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA)
V. Elaine Mayes (Puyallup Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, Puyallup, Washington, USA)
Virginia N. Hillers (Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 1 September 2006

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to increase consumers' use of food thermometers to test the endpoint temperature of small cuts of meats.

Design/methodology/approach

The project integrates research, classroom and non‐formal education.

Findings

Instant‐read food thermometers were available in >73 percent of USA supermarkets and most were accurate within 1.1°C. Lethality findings include that ground beef patties should either be cooked in a two‐sided grill or turned frequently during cooking. Focus group participants said the primary motivator to food thermometer use was avoidance of foodborne illness. Educational materials positively affected thermometer use among consumers.

Practical implications

Behavior change will be facilitated by widespread availability of thermometers, inclusion of endpoint temperatures in recipes, and seeing others use food thermometers.

Originality/value

This project develops and delivers information to encourage use of food thermometers to assess endpoint temperature when cooking small meat items.

Keywords

Citation

McCurdy, S., Takeuchi, M., Edwards, Z., Edlefsen, M., Kang, D., Elaine Mayes, V. and Hillers, V. (2006), "Food safety education initiative to increase consumer use of food thermometers in the United States", British Food Journal, Vol. 108 No. 9, pp. 775-794. https://doi.org/10.1108/00070700610688403

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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