How the Keep-it® indicator works
When the Keep-it® indicator is attached to a product, the indicator will start to constantly monitor the temperatures to which the product is exposed.
The content of the indicator is specifically tailored to different products, and simulate how the product’s remaining shelf life is reduced over time. When the product is s stored where it is warm, the indicator will move rapidly. When the product is kept cold, the indicator will move slowly. When the indicator shows zero, the product is no longer edible.
For example: If a fish product is determined to have a shelf life of 12 days at 4℃, its shelf life will be reduced if it is kept above this temperature. However, if the fish is kept colder than 4℃, its shelf life will increase.
Where do I find Keep-it®?
Can I trust that the food is safe when it has a Keep-it® indicator?
In general, food in Norway is very safe to eat. The Keep-it® indicator gives you greater confidence because you can see whether the product has been kept at the right temperature from the moment it was produced, through the entire cold chain, right up until you put it in your own fridge. Keep-it® will not improve the quality of the food, and cannot reveal food that is bad to start with. The quality of the products is the producer’s responsibility, but Keep-it® helps you assess the item’s durability based on how it has been stored.
Must I remove the Keep-it® indicator from the packaging before I put the packaging in the recycling bin?
No, it is not necessary to remove the Keep-it® indicator from the packaging before it is sent for recycling. The indicator is made of the same type of plastic that is used as standard wrapping of most foods.
Does Keep-it® contain any harmful substances?
No, the Keep-it® indicator contains no hazardous or harmful components. The indicator’s content is also found in regular food products. If the indicator is damaged and begins to leak, its content can simply be rinsed away with running water.
How accurate is the Keep-it® indicator?
- Each type of food varies in shelf life. We take account of this variation by developing individual indicators for specific products. The length of time within which the food can be consumed will always be the producer’s responsibility.
- The Keep-it® indicator contains an advanced system based on several chemical reactions operating in parallel. We consider 0o to 12o C to be the temperature interval most relevant for the storage of refrigerated items, and it is therefore within this area that the indicator is specifically designed to function.
- However, the indicator also works well outside this interval, from down to around minus 5o C and up to plus 25o C, though at these temperatures, some discrepancies may arise in relation to the correlated shelf life of a specific product. The Keep-it® indicator will nevertheless provide a relevant indication of shelf life if the product is kept at room temperature over a period of time and is then cooled down afterwards. (This can happen if food is kept in the car for a long journey before being put in the refrigerator.) It is also important to point out that Keep-it® (like the traditional date stamp) is valid only until the packaging is opened.
- The accuracy of the chemical reaction in the indicator will normally be within a margin of error of plus/minus 12 to 24 hours, though this may vary slightly from product to product and depending on the temperature at which the food has been kept.
Does the Keep-it® indicator show the correct shelf life after I have opened the packaging?
The moment you open the packaging you can no longer rely on the Keep-it indicator’s display. This is also true of the traditional date stamp. As soon as the packaging is opened, the product’s shelf life is affected, and it starts to go off more quickly. As a result, it is not possible to measure the product’s remaining shelf life accurately once the packaging has been opened.
Can I still use the Keep-it® indicator even if I freeze the product?
When an item of fresh food that is intended for refrigeration is frozen, the assumptions underpinning its designated shelf life are altered. A Keep-it® indicator that is calibrated for a refrigerated item will therefore no longer be accurate if the item is frozen. In such cases, you must ignore both the traditional date stamp and the Keep-it® indicator, and use your own best judgement.
What does it mean when two similar products (with the same date stamp) have Keep-it® indicators showing different remaining shelf lives?
There can be several reasons why similar products have different shelf lives.
- The products may have been stored at different temperatures at the producer, during transport or in the shop.
- You may have stored the products at different temperatures on your way back from the shop or once you got them home.
- You may have kept the products in different places in your fridge. The temperature in the fridge varies. It is often colder at the bottom than at the top.