Is my food safe?

A helpful app answers all your food safety questions.

As a Michigan State University Extension employee I’ve received many handy brochures, fact sheets and notes about food safety over the years. They have included lots of helpful information about cooking temperatures, how long food can be kept in the fridge and how to properly store food. They’re great, but unfortunately they haven’t always been handy when I’ve needed them. I’m delighted to report that one elegant app has helped me keep track of all of this information (and more) while also helping me to reduce my kitchen clutter at the same time.

The free iPhone and Android application is called “Is My Food Safe?” It was developed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ConAgra Foods as part of their Home Food Safety program.

One of the reasons I love this app is that I always know that the information provided is up-to-date. It also includes a great section called, “Time to Toss?” How often do we wonder if that salad dressing is still good or if the package of lunchmeat we opened on Monday is still good to eat on Thursday? No more wondering! The portable food storage guide covers baby food, beverages, leftovers, frozen foods and more.

I use the “Is It Done Yet?” feature often. It covers safe cooking temperatures for eggs and egg dishes, seafood and meats, game birds and game animals, ground meat and meat mixtures as well as leftovers and casseroles. No more guessing if my food is cooked well enough. Just as important for me, no more over-cooking food!

The app also includes a fun quiz that you can take to test your knowledge of kitchen cleanliness and food safety. There is an “Ask an Expert” feature that takes you to the eatright.org site so that you can contact a registered dietitian with your question. The “More Safety Tips” includes lots of information about washing (equipment, hands, food), separating (cutting boards, foods, plates and utensils), cooking (grilling, holidays, leftovers, microwaves, tailgating) and refrigerating (desktop dining, freezing, takeout foods, lunchboxes, power outages).

The FAQ section covers common questions and categorizes them by washing, separating, cooking and refrigerating. The “What Is Food Poisoning” section provides information about symptoms, risk and how to avoid food poisoning.

The app is easy to navigate and includes lots of information that I never expected to get when I downloaded it. I was just looking for something to tell me about safe cooking temperatures and I got a whole lot more!

When you are out and about be sure to use your smartphone to prevent foodborne illness. You can also use your smartphone to browse food safety information on the MSU Extension website at www.msue.msu.edu. To find a food safety class near you visit http://msue.anr.msu.edu/events.

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