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Report on the 2014 Food in Museums Survey Now Available

April 03, 2015

Report on the 2014 Food in Museums Survey produced by the SPNHC Conservation Committee 

Museums, people and food are closely tied together. From staff members’ brown bag lunches, to the cafeteria or a catered donor event, food service is a necessity in modern museums and collection holding institutions. At the most basic level, food vendors feed visitors and generate revenue. On the other hand, the presence of food in museums and collection holding institutions presents a challenge to the long-term preservation of museum collections. Incorrect disposal of food waste and insufficient housekeeping both contribute to pest infestation. Food and beverages carried through areas with collections can spill and soil objects, causing damage which may not be reversible.

The results of the 2014 survey are summarized in this report, followed by a discussion of common themes identified in the responses. A review of the food management policies shared with the Conservation Committee concludes this report. The information gathered by this survey will guide the creation of a Best Practices document for food management in museums and collection holding institutions. The document will be published through SPNHC and will be reviewed periodically and revised as necessary. 

For a complete list of available SPNHC Reports, go to http://www.spnhc.org/35/reports