APRIL 27, 2015 BY 

The USDA, Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute have developed a new application, the FoodKeeper.  This new tool which is aimed at assisting households in keeping their food supplies safe and will help stakeholders understand how different storage methods affect a product’s shelf life; thereby maximizing the storage life of foods and beverages. In addition, the application can remind you to use items before they are likely to spoil.

USDA estimates that 21% of the available food in the U.S. goes uneaten by consumers. In total, that is 36 pounds of food per person wasted each month at the retail and consumer levels!  It would be great if this application allowed us to lower those numbers in the future.

Application Features
The FoodKeeper application offers users valuable storage advice about more than 400 food and beverage items, including various types of baby food, dairy products and eggs, meat, poultry, produce, seafood, and more. With the application you can:

  • Find specific storage timelines for the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, depending on the nature of the product;
  • Get tips for cooking methods for meat, poultry and seafood products;
  • Note in your devices’ calendar when products were purchased and receive notifications when they are nearing the end of their recommended storage date;
  • Search the application with swipe gestures or voice control; and
  • Submit a question to USDA using the ‘Ask Karen’ feature of the application. ‘Ask Karen’ is USDA’s 24/7 virtual representative. The system provides information about preventing foodborne illness, safe food handling and storage, and safe preparation of meat, poultry, and egg products.