Dial up food safety information with free app

Media note: Images of the app can be downloaded at, https://cornell.box.com/FoodKeeper

ITHACA, N.Y. – For those who have wondered if Tuesday’s leftovers are still good, whether a chicken breast has been cooked to the correct temperature or how to keep food safe during a power outage, now there’s an app for that.

Developed by Cornell University, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Food Marketing Institute, the new FoodKeeper app, features:

  • A searchable database for more than 400 foods and includes storage timelines, cooking tips and other practical advice for those interested in learning about the keeping quality of their foods.
  • Important information about product dating and other food storage tips are also contained in the app.
  • Calendar integration, which allows users to enter the purchase date for products and offers notifications when products are nearing the end of their recommended storage date.
  • And, a 24-hour virtual hotline called “Ask Karen” for pressing food storage related questions.


The app is available free for Android and Apple devices and is intended for consumers, food pantries and food banks.

“The app brings some very good food storage and freshness advice to consumers, and it puts that data right in your hand on demand,” said Bob Gravani, professor of Food Science at Cornell, who was involved in developing the database of foods.

The software is an enhanced, interactive e-version of the popular FoodKeeper booklet, developed by the Cornell’s Department of Food Science, the Food Marketing Institute and the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline to help consumers maintain the safety, freshness and quality of foods.

With its advice on buying and cooking appropriate quantities and on composting, the app also contributes to the USDA’s and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s U.S. Food Waste Challenge, which seeks to reduce, recover and recycle food waste. In the United States, an estimated 40 percent of the total food supply is wasted, according to the USDA.


Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.