Free App to help keep food safe

Every Saturday throughout the year, Our Lady’s Pantry distributes boxes of perishable and non-perishable foods to our clients, says director Tom Bullaro.  “But keeping fresh foods fresh, once you get them home, is sometimes confusing.

“Feeding Tampa Bay has told us about a free App to help you maximize the freshness and quality of items.  Importantly, this information can reduce the risk of foodborn illness.”

For example, how long you can keep raw ground beef in your refrigerator before using it?  How long can you keep already cooked chicken?  According to the FoodKeeper App, you can keep raw ground beef only one or two days in the refrigerator from the date of purchase.  Poultry leftovers are safe for three to four days, if refrigerated . . . .

According to Bullaro, this free App, which is updated regularly, allows consumers to search in English or Spanish.  It is available as a mobile application for Android and Apple devices.

This App was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service, with Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute, in partnership with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Alternative sources of food safety information:

  • For those who do not have access to a smartphone, the FoodKeeper app can also be accessed at gov/foodkeeper.
  • Consumers with questions about food safety, can call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or chat live with a food safety specialist at gov from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, in English or Spanish.
  • If you have specific USDA questions that you cannot find answers to on the site, call (202) 720-2791 or email us at:
  • Consumers can learn more about key food safety practices at gov and follow @USDAFoodSafetyand @USDAFoodSafety_es on Twitter.