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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Price Chopper stores in Syracuse, N.Y. and Burlington, Vt. will offer shoppers free refrigerator thermometers beginning Sunday, Sept. 25.
Taking a cue from the Food Marketing Institute's nationwide "Project Chill" campaign, the regional grocer is promoting National Food Safety Month in September at the same time it is staging its own thermometer giveaway with two signature Price Chopper programs.
The first is Healthy U, which provides the latest information on nutrition and well-being issues through such methods as in-store educational tours for schoolchildren and a free food-related e-mail/phone hotline. The second is Best in Fresh perishables promotion program, which also doubles as its corporate commitment to freshness.
Price Chopper said its goal is to raise awareness of the need to keep refrigerated foods cold enough, at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, to ensure maximum safety and also peak freshness for as long as possible.
The free thermometers will be distributed while supplies last to customers making a minimum purchase of $10 in Price Chopper's deli or meat department. Price Chopper will promote the offer in its Sept. 25 weekly circular, on counter signage in both participating perishable departments, and in local newspaper ads in Syracuse and Burlington.
Although most refrigerators have temperature control devices that consumers can adjust, most refrigerators are not equipped with temperature displays.
The thermometers Price Chopper will be giving away can be put on a refrigerator shelf, or hung from a refrigerator rack. They can also be used to monitor the safety of coolers for tailgate parties and picnics, and for any other refrigeration device. The free thermometers are easy to read, with the ideal range shown in blue, and the "too warm" and "too cold" extremes are in red.
"With national statistics reporting that only 30 percent of consumers have heard they should use a refrigerator thermometer, and 20 percent saying they actually use one, we knew that we had to be proactive on this," noted Price Chopper's director of public relations and consumer services, Mona Golub, in a statement. "The challenge for us here at Price Chopper was to put refrigerator thermometers in the hands of consumers while endorsing a regular routine of checking home refrigerator temperature. The giveaway ties into our Healthy U program, and is a great way for us to provide our customers with food safety tips and the means to best maintain the integrity of the fresh foods that they bring home."
An information card attached to the thermometers will provide additional food safety tips, including washing hands before and after food preparation, not overloading the refrigerator, thawing and marinating food in the refrigerator, and keeping cooked and raw food separate. The tips are from FMI and the Partnership for Food Safety Education's FightBAC! Campaign, which stresses Cook, Clean, Chill, and Separate as components of safe food handling.
The Golub Corp. owns and operates over 100 Price Chopper stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Golub's approximately 22,000 associates collectively own 55 percent of the company's privately held stock.