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7.18.2016

Wellness App Review: FoodKeeper

Part of healthy eating that people often don’t think about is food safety. Food safety involves proper storage, handling, and preparation in order to prevent foodborne illness. It is a very important part of nutrition, as 1 in 6 Americans each year become sick from food poisoning. Knowing how to keep your food safe for eating can be confusing since there are many different guidelines depending on the type of food. Luckily, there is an app to help! FoodKeeper was created by the USDA in partnership with Cornell University in order to help eliminate the confusion surrounding proper food safety. Additionally, the app aims to help reduce food waste. This free app is available for both Android and iOS.

How it works

After downloading the app, you have immediate access to a wealth of information, no sign-up required. The app features easy-to-scroll-through slides of general guidelines pertaining to many areas of food safety including general cooking and temperature, safe shopping, food dating, tips for keeping produce fresh, how to safely store and re-use leftovers, and much more!

If you don’t find the information you’re looking for in the general information section, the app further explains food safety in-depth for different categories of food. A few examples of categories covered include: baby food, baked goods, condiments, prepared foods, meat, seafood and shelf-stable foods. Within each category you also have the ability to set reminders on your device to let you know when you purchased or prepared food and an alarm to let you know when it is coming close to no longer being safe to eat.

To quickly find information there is also a search feature where you can look up the information you need. If you are unable to find what you’re looking for, there is a feature within the app that allows you to “Ask Karen” a question. Karen is the USDA’s virtual food safety expert, available 24/7.

Pros

  • Streamlined, visually appealing design that allows you to easily use the app.
  • The alarm feature not only can help you ensure you’re eating food that is safe, but by eliminating food waste it can also help you save money by letting you know you need to use/eat something before it goes bad.
  • The app provides a wealth of information and options to help you find information if it is not available through the app.
  • If you prefer to access the information via your computer or would like to print out helpful tips, you can do so by accessing the website of the version of the app.

Cons

  • It would be nice if there were more interactive features within the app.

Overall consensus

This is a great app! It eliminates a lot of the confusion surrounding proper food handling, cooking to adequate temperatures and ensuring safe storage to reduce the risk of getting sick from foods as well as helping you reduce the amount of food you waste. Using this app and its alarm feature regularly can even help you save money by reminding you to use foods before they go bad.