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Summary of Spring Fest 2019

students in class

Purdue Spring Fest: Feng Lab Focuses on Food Safety

The Feng lab participated in Spring Fest held annually at Purdue. Spring Fest is a two-day event that allows families to come to Purdue’s campus for a weekend of fun and learning. To teach Spring Fest attendees about food safety, members of the Feng lab built three stations to highlight correct cooking and storage temperatures of different foods and correct thermometer placement to measure the internal temperature of a piece of meat. Feng lab students helped facilitate the activities and answer food safety questions.

Students working with kids during spring fest
Juan and Tressie working with kids at Spring Fest

At the first station, attendees were asked to place a piece of toy meat, poultry, and fish in a skillet displaying the correct cooking temperature for the food item. Attendees then tried to guess the correct temperature to maintain a refrigerator (40ºF or below) and freezer (0ºF). They sorted products into the correct storage location. At the last station, attendees tested their knowledge of where to insert a cooking thermometer into a steak to check if the internal temperature meets the recommended safe cooking temperature. Attendees used their hands as the thermometer probe and placed their hands in one of five locations on the steak. A different colored ball was hidden in each location to indicate if the attendee picked the correct location.

Dr. Feng working with the kids at Spring Fest
Dr. Feng working with the kids at Spring Fest

One of the students facilitating the correct cooking temperature stations noted that children seemed to really enjoy matching each food to the correct cooking temperature. Children who mismatched items wanted to try again; they were very eager to correctly match all the food items and temperatures. Adults even seemed to enjoy testing their knowledge at this station. By the end of the activities, we hope that adults and children enjoyed Spring Fest and that the attendees learned food safety tips they can apply to keep themselves and their families safer.

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