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New App Helps Cut Food Waste

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Lookout Staff

April 6, 2015 -- Want to keep those veggies fresher longer? Now there’s an app for that.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials on Tuesday will debut FoodKeeper, a new application for Android and Apple devices that shows consumers how to properly store food and beverages to maximize their freshness and quality.

The app’s roll-out coincides with World Health Day on Tuesday, which is sponsored by the World Health Organization to spotlight the harm caused by food-borne illnesses, according to WHO’s website.

The campaign’s slogan is “From farm to plate, make food safe.”

USDA’s new app helps consumers do that by providing “valuable storage advice” for more than 400 food and beverage items – from baby food to dairy products to eggs and meat, the agency said.

“Users will be able to keep items fresh longer than if they were not stored properly,” USDA officials said.

The app also provides cooking tips for meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products to ensure that food-borne bacteria are eliminated, and it also includes a calendar that allows consumers to enter the purchase date of a product and find out when it’s nearing its recommended storage limit, officials said.

As well as seeking to improve food safety, the app can help cut down on waste, officials said.

“Every year, billions of pounds of food go to waste in the U.S. because consumers are not sure of its quality or safety,” the agency said. “USDA estimates that 21 percent of the available food in the U.S. goes uneaten at the consumer level.”

Consumers toss out 36 pounds of uneaten food per person each month, USDA officials estimate.

“This application will help reduce food waste by showing users how to store foods properly, and reminding them to use items before they are likely to spoil,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This can help consumers save money and reduce the amount of safe food going to landfills.”

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