This App Alerts You to Food Recalls the Instant They Happen

Even though you can feel confident that most of the foods you stock up on are safe, the truth is that mistakes happen, so recalls do, too. And they’re important to know about, since recalls can happen because of undeclared allergens (like when peanuts are in the food but aren’t listed on the label) or bacterial contamination that can make you or your family sick.

Now, you’ll never miss another one with a new feature on the USDA’s handy dandy FoodKeeper app. It now includes alerts for food recalls when they’re announced by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the FDA, so you’ll always be in the loop.

Recalls happen as a response to a number of food safety issues, including contaminated food, unlisted allergens, nonfood particles lurking in packaging (see: glass), and more. And while they vary in seriousness, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and toss the product in question or take it back to where you bought it for a refund. With FoodKeeper’s new alert system, you don’t have to rely on word of mouth or mining the USDA’s food recall page to know that one of your favorite staples has been pulled from shelves.

While this feature is new, the app does much more in the name of food safety. Launched in 2015, according to Food Safety News, it also provides storage timelines for how long more than 500 foods will keep in your fridge, freezer, or pantry, along with suggested cooking methods. It covers different types of dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, produce, seafood, and more, and there’s also a request form for unlisted foods.

Plus, you can also “Ask Karen” (the department’s virtual representative) any remaining burning questions about food handling and storage, avoiding food poisoning, safe preparation of animal products, and more, according to the USDA. Basically, the app is the equivalent of calling your mom if you’re a little weirded out by the chicken in your fridge that may or not still be OK.

Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the food recall notifications, along with the other useful features: In the app, hit the information icon in the lower righthand corner. (You can see the full list of recalls from the information page, too). Hit Settings, and make sure the “Allow Recall Notifications” is toggled on. You can also schedule notifications daily or weekly.

You’ll also need to allow notifications from the app on your phone—on iOS, go into Settings, then hit Notifications, and make sure “Allow Notifications” is toggled on for FoodKeeper.

FoodKeeper

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