What Are the Odds? A Cupcake Mishap
School of Food Science
University of Idaho
"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.
- 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.
KeywordsStatistics; statistical probability; quality management; quality control; food safety; food quality; Food & Drug Administration; FDA; baking; bakery; cupcakes
Topical AreasRegulatory issues
Educational LevelUndergraduate upper division, Graduate, Continuing education
Type / MethodsAnalysis (Issues), Discussion
Subject HeadingsStatistics | Food Science / Technology |