Food storage and disposal: consumer practices and knowledge

P.M.J. Terpstra, L.P.A. Steenbekkers, N.C.M. de Maertelaere, S. Nijhuis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    69 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose - Consumer food handling behaviour is important in preventing food borne disease and this paper proposes examining consumer behaviour and knowledge concerning food storage and disposal. Design/methodology/approach - Interviews and observations were used to investigate the storage methods and the storage durations of various categories of food products as well as the consumers' motives when they decide to throw away food products. The temperature of their refrigerators was also measured. Findings - The results demonstrate that consumers deal with meat and dairy products relatively hygienically, but the storage of products in other categories is more likely to lead to risks; especially because of high storage temperatures. The study also shows that the elderly handle food differently from younger people. Research limitations/implications - Knowledge of the recommended storage methods and the consequences of consuming out-of-date foodstuffs have not been investigated. This could be dealt with in a supplemental research. Practical implications - The elderly have a different purchasing policy. The older consumer of the future is likely to act differently to the present day elderly with respect to the disposal of food products. Originality/value - Reveals that consumer education about food safety, in particular food storage and food handling is recommended
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)526-533
    Number of pages8
    JournalBritish Food Journal
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • handling practices
    • safety
    • home

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