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USDA to provide user with new information on recalls

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The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has updated a mobile application to provide users with new information on recalls.

Users can choose to receive automatic notifications when recalls are announced by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In the update on the Google Play and iTunes stores, users can select to receive information on food safety recalls immediately or daily or weekly via the FoodKeeper application.

The update adds instructional videos on proper handling of food and includes storage timelines for the refrigerator, freezer and pantry, for more than 500 products, including baby food, dairy and eggs, meat, poultry, produce and seafood.

Carmen Rottenberg, acting deputy under-secretary for food safety, said: “The FoodKeeper app is a very handy and easy to use tool; and it reflects USDA's commitment to provide the public with information and knowledge to help them make informed decisions.

"With the expansion of products covered in the apps database, this app is helpful to any type of consumer, and I encourage anyone who hasn't already done so, to download and begin using the FoodKeeper app."

The FoodKeeper app was developed by FSIS with Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute. Since launch in April 2015 it has been downloaded nearly 150,000 times.

Each user can note in their calendar when products were purchased and receive notifications when they are nearing the end of their recommended storage date and submit a question to USDA using the 'Ask Karen' feature. 'Ask Karen' is USDA's 24/7 virtual representative.

For those who do not have a smartphone the app can be accessed at FoodSafety.gov/FoodKeeper

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