A national survey sponsored by the American Plastics Council shows what a difficult time America’s young people have in the kitchen. The Council surveyed 539 young Americans between the ages of 18-34 years old, and found things like this:
“Whether they’re heading off to college, setting up their first apartment or starting a family, many young adults are unsure of how to store food properly and may be unknowingly taking risks that could lead to food-borne illnesses,’ said Patty Enneking, managing director of the American Plastics Council.
Biggest kitchen mysteries —
- One third (35%) say ‘how long can I keep and use leftovers?’ is the single biggest kitchen mystery
- When asked about freezer storage, 32% say knowing ‘what to store food in to prevent freezer burn’ is the biggest mystery
Survey says a sizeable percentage of young adults commit classic kitchen don’ts. For example:
- Leave food out on the counter to defrost (28%)
- Store leftover food in the refrigerator uncovered (16%)
- Microwave food in containers designed for cold food storage only (18%)
But the good news is … young adults demonstrated that they understand a few cardinal rules of food safety, storage and heating:
- Store food in an airtight plastic container (78%)
- Heat food in containers purchased specifically for microwave use (52%)
Read the container label for instructions
on proper use (44%)
When the good news is that 44% of the respondents know to read the label, it shows why we need lots of prepared foods, pre-cooked items and fresh-cut produce. And lots of education. What source most influences young people? Well the survey found that some things never change:
Moms reign over all other sources, including the product’s label, as the most trusted resource for food preparation and storage advice. The younger end of the spectrum, 18-24 year olds, are more likely to ask their moms for help (46%) compared to 28% of those aged 25-34.