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What Are the Odds? A Cupcake Mishap



Author:

Helen S. Joyner
School of Food Science
University of Idaho
hjoyner@uidaho.edu

Abstract:

"Gerri" is the owner of a local bakery that specializes in cupcakes. Her assistant, "Kelsey," is preparing an order for a wedding when she discovers that she has lost her ring and can't find it anywhere in the kitchen. Since the ring had been loose on her finger, she and Gerri conclude that it must have fallen into the cupcake batter while Kelsey was making the batch. Gerri is furious and demands that Kelsey remake the cupcakes. The story leaves off with Kelsey facing unspecified consequences as Gerri leaves to deal with customers. Students will need to apply statistical probability theory as well as food safety regulations to determine the likelihood of finding the ring in a certain group of cupcakes and provide a solution to the case study. Developed for a senior-level undergraduate statistical quality management course, the case is also appropriate for courses focusing on quality management in industrial settings as well as for a general undergraduate statistics course.

Objectives:
  • Apply basic theorems of probability.
  • Evaluate the possible repercussions of the scenario presented in the case study.
  • Develop an action plan to address the situation described using the principles of a quality management program.
Keywords: Statistics; statistical probability; quality management; quality control; food safety; food quality; Food & Drug Administration; FDA; baking; bakery; cupcakes
Topical Area: Regulatory issues
Educational Level: Undergraduate upper division, Graduate, Continuing education
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Analysis (Issues), Discussion
Language: English
Subject Headings: Statistics   Food Science / Technology  
Date Posted: 7/14/2014
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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