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no experiment

Postby michael baseball » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:36 am

Hi! I would like to do a project (scientific method or engineering design process) on "Is Legislation Necessary for Food Safety?". I want to research legislation through food safety in U.S. history. Major emphasis on the recent bill passed on Jan. 4, 2011 (FSMA). However, I don't have an experiment or design. Would any one be able to help me? Thank you very much.
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Project Question: Is legislation necessary for food safety?
Project Due Date: March 17, 2012
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: no experiment

Postby KatieC » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:51 pm

Hello Michael,
Well you certainly picked a hot topic of debate right now. My initial thought is to compare two experiments side by side. One in a controlled environment and the second with a less controlled environment. Now what "controlled" and "uncontrolled" mean is sort of up to you. My thought was to have a rigid procedure that must be followed and then another more loose procedure. Have two people, other than yourself, follow the procedures and observe them along the way. How do they interpret the instructions? do they end up with the same result? Then have two more people follow the two different procedures so you have more than one data point. Make the same observations. This will give you an idea of some of the pros and cons to working in a regulated vs non regulated environment and their affect on the final outcome of the procedure.

Hope this helps get you started
Katie
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Re: no experiment

Postby donnahardy2 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:38 am

Hi Michael,

Welcome to Science Buddies! This is a fascinating topic for a science project, however, designing an experiment will be challenging. Since the project is so vast, you would need to narrow your topic so you can design a controlled experiment. Here is a link to the latest food safety law that was passed in the US that includes a list of the major provisions.

http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/fsma.html

Since this is a science project, you might want to focus on the provisions for establishing science-based standards for the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables. You could look at recent food-related health issues (Listeria in cantaloupes, Salmonella in eggs and peanut butter, arsenic in apple juice) and perhaps devise an experiment that would improve the way that safety of a particular food could be confirmed. Doing as much background reading as possible will help you identify a suitable topic for investigation. I would also recommend contacting local food companies, the food and nutrition department of a local university, or a local agricultural inspector to try to find someone who can provide expert advice and perhaps suggest a suitable topic for investigation.

Good luck!

Donna Hardy
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