The phenomenon of forgetfulness among humans in walk-in cooler temperature conditions

Posted by Carolyn Reis on

Have you ever walked into your kitchen's cooler and immediately forgotten what you came for? Have you faced the social embarrassment of admitting to the person who next enters the cooler that you’ve totally forgotten your task at hand? Forgetting your purpose in a 35F-41F environment is not only inconvenient.

It is dangerous.

Temperature regulation is one of the body’s most important tasks. As we humans walk or run, talk or think, we use energy—glucose—to carry out these functions. Outside of ambient temperatures, around 75F, we must exert energy simply to restore healthy bodily temperatures. At extreme temperatures this fight for homeostasis may lead to 'ego depletion': the depletion of energy necessary for our organs to carry out their functions.

Unlike other organs, the brain is our decision-making organ. And the decision of whether to chop a carrot or your finger is no small matter.

Commercial refrigerator temperatures will rise the most when the equipment doors are open. With equipment doors closed, however, in as little as 25 seconds temperatures tend to stabilize at roughly 35F*. And with lower temperatures comes greater loss of functioning.

With greater loss of functioning, duration of stay in cooler may increase, thereby increasing loss of functioning.

Don’t let the food industry become one of the most dangerous lines of work.

Think twice before you make the decision to enter your cooler.

*Source unknown 

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