WASHINGTON – A web-based smartphone application that instantly answers food safety questions was launched by the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. This application (m.AskKaren.gov) 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. The application is currently optimized for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

“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,” said Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen. “Now, people can ‘Ask Karen’ right away when they need food-safety information, without being tethered to a computer.”