The Food Safety and Inspection Service has launched a web-based smartphone application that instantly answers food safety questions commonly posed by consumers. The application is a mobile version of FSIS’s Ask Karen, a virtual food safety representative who offers advice about properly handling, storing and preparing food to prevent illness.

“FSIS has a wealth of tips and useful information to help as you shop, prepare and store food,” said Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen. “People are using mobile devices more and more to get quick information, so we’ve adapted our tools, allowing more people to get food safety messages faster. Now, people can ‘Ask Karen’ right away when they need food safety information, without being tethered to a computer.”

By using Ask Karen, consumers can search for nearly 1,500 answers by topic or by product, chat with a live representative or call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline (1-888-MPHotline). The application is currently optimized for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

To start using Mobile Ask Karen now, go to on your phone's browser.


 Source: American Meat Institute