The FoodKeeper can help consumers use food while at peak quality and reduce waste. The storage times listed are intended as useful guidelines and are not hard-and-fast rules.

Source: Android description / Image: Foerster Public Domain

Useful information

Download: Android 4.4 (18.26MB) / iOS 7.0 (21.2MB)

Price: free

Language: English / Spanish / Portuguese

Runs offline: partially

Last update: Android 21/06/2016 (v. 5.0.0) – iOS 21/06/2016 (v. 5.0.0)

Website of the developer: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Description

FoodKeeper is an application that helps to reduce household food waste by providing you hints and tips for proper food preservation. Also allows you to schedule alerts with which you can remember the best-before dates for the food storaged in your pantry or fridge. In addition, it shows tips on what temperature is recommended to cook for a good conservation of the product.

The app shows a list of categories (meat, fish, dairy, prepared food, etc.) in which the different products are included, showing tips depending on the form of packaging or preparation of the food. There is also a search option by entering the name of the food (loupe icon in the lower right corner). In case the product is not included, you can ask a question about it or suggest to include that food in the list.

For each product, the application shows the best-before date, being able to synchronize this period with Google calendar. If, for example, on a day like today, February 8, you buy yogurt, which according to instructions included in the app, it can keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge, the application will allow you to add a warning to your calendar, reminding you that its best-before date ends on February 22.

At the top right you will find two icons through which you can access to the information about the application, recommended temperature for the fridge, preparation of food, etc., and to a configuration tab in which, in addition to change the language or units (from Farenheit to Celsius and vice versa), you will also find a utility called Ask Karen. This utility allows you to access to an enquiry service where you can find answers to different issues related to handling and preservation of food as well as clarifying doubts by sending questions or chatting online (check the hours in which the chat is active).

More information

USDA’s FoodKeeper app uses open data to keep consumers safe and food fresh

Do food expiration dates really matter?

Images: screenshots 07/02/2017. ©USDA

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Analysis

As the UNEP website remembers, «roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted», with a clearly difference between developing countries, where the food waste occur at early stages of chain, and countries with a medium-high incomes, where the wastage of food takes place at later stages.

In these last countries, one of the main causes to throw away food is, in addition to a wrong planning and misunderstandings with date labels, to forget what foods are stored in the pantry or fridge, so a feature such as the one that FoodKeeper offers to add warnings synchronized with the Google calendar can be very useful (the generation of ads is not automatic, so it requires some discipline on your part). The service Ask Karen is also interesting because enables you to solve your doubts about foodborne illness, handling, storage or safe preparation, although you must keep in mind that some foods are typical of certain countries, so it is possible that they may not always be able to offer you a correct answer.

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Técnico de medio ambiente, community manager y content curator especializada en temas de medioambiente - Environmental technician, community manager and content curator specialised in environmental issues