US: Red 4 protects consumers from bad leftovers

Posted: April 29th, 2011 - 1:58pm
Source: Media-Newswire

Many consumers don't realize how quickly food leftovers can become unsafe and cause foodborne illnesses. That's why a giant, red 4 has arrived with the message "after four days, throw it away!"
The "4-Day Throw Away" campaign, which features a 4 as its mascot, is educating consumers about the dangers of foodborne illnesses and the four-day guideline for eating, freezing or throwing away leftovers. It is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant and is a partnership between Iowa State University Extension and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.
"We discovered that many consumers are keeping and eating leftovers well past the recommended amount of time, which can lead to foodborne illnesses," said Julie Albrecht, UNL Extension food specialist. "The campaign aims to not only make them aware of the four-day guideline, but also get them to start practicing it in their homes."
Albrecht said 25-to-40-year-old parents of young children are a key target for the campaign. The campaign message is being supported through traditional channels, but also has a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
"We really wanted to reach this audience online where they spend their time, but also give them the opportunity to have a conversation about food safety and ask questions of our experts," Albrecht said.
The 4 also stars in a series of four videos portraying common leftovers bad practices where intervention by 4 keeps families safe from foodborne illnesses.
To view more materials from the campaign, please visit the following websites:
Campaign website:
Facebook page:
Twitter account:
YouTube channel:

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