Time-temperature profiles and Listeria monocytogenes presence in refrigerators from households with vulnerable consumers

Loredana Dumitrașcu, Anca Ioana Nicolau, Corina Neagu, Pierrine Didier, Isabelle Maître, Christophe Nguyen-The, Silje Elisabeth Skuland, Trond Møretrø, Solveig Langsrud, Monica Truninger, Paula Teixeira, Vânia Ferreira, Lydia Martens, Daniela Borda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


A transdisciplinary observational study, coupled with a web-based survey, was conducted to investigate refrigerated storage of food, in five European countries. The investigated consumer groups in this study were: young families with small children and/or pregnant women, elderly people, persons with an immunodeficient system, and young single men. The refrigerator temperature was monitored for approximately two weeks using a temperature data logger. Variables such as country, income, age of refrigerators, education, living area, refrigerator loading practices had no significant effect (p > 0.05) on the overall average fridge temperature, whereas consumers' practices showed a significant influence (p < 0.05) on registered temperature values. Compared to temperatures inside the fridges belonging to young families and young single men group, the temperatures inside refrigerators belonging to elderly was in the temperature danger zone (5–63 °C). The lowest temperatures were recorded in UK consumers’ refrigerators, whereas the highest were in French households. Presence of Listeria monocytogenes was confirmed in three refrigerators out of 53 sampled (two in Romania and one in Portugal). The most vulnerable category to food safety risks is represented by elderly persons with low education, unaware of safe refrigeration practices and the actual temperature their fridges are running.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107078
Number of pages9
JournalFood Control
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Consumer
  • Elderly
  • Temperature danger zone
  • Young family
  • Young single men


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