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Ask Karen Ranks As Top Ten Best Federal Mobile Apps

 “Ask Karen,” an online food safety question and answer service provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. Food Safety Inspection Service is now mobile. “Ask Karen” provides 24/7 virtual assistance and tips on preventing food borne illness, safe food handling, storage and safe preparation of meat, poultry and egg products. The "Ask Karen" app was announced at the United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Inspection Service, Food Safety Education Camp held at Maryland City Elementary in Laurel, MD, on Thursday, May 5, 2011.  USDA Photo by Bob Nichols.

“Ask Karen,” an online food safety question and answer service provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. Food Safety Inspection Service is now mobile. “Ask Karen” provides 24/7 virtual assistance and tips on preventing food borne illness, safe food handling, storage and safe preparation of meat, poultry and egg products. USDA Photo by Bob Nichols.

Last week the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) Mobile Ask Karen app earned high-praise from Government Computer News (link will take you offsite).  The publication gave a tip-of-the-hat to Mobile Ask Karen, ranking it as one of “The 10 best federal mobile apps.” Mobile Ask Karen was heralded as “a perfect example” and “the best of the bunch,” and was the only app to earn perfect scores in the categories of usefulness, ease of use, and coolness factor.

Since its debut in May 2011, the Mobile Ask Karen app has been fielding thousands of questions on food safety for consumers.  Whether users are seeking information about the safe cooking temperature for pork, or how long food can last during a power outage, Ask Karen provides indispensible advice literally at your fingertips. One of the Mobile Ask Karen app features highlighted by GCN was that consumers have the option to chat with a live representative for real-time answers.  

The Obama Administration has challenged each federal agency to modernize and increase their information’s accessibility to the public.  Rising to the challenge, FSIS has taken a lead by developing tech savvy and useful mobile apps to help consumers.  Last month, FSIS announced the launch of “Mobile Pregúntele a Karen,” the Spanish-language version of the mobile app.

If you haven’t already, visit Ask Karen, available 24/7 at www.AskKaren.gov or m.AskKaren.gov on your smartphone, or visit the Spanish-language version at m.PregunteleaKaren.gov or PregunteleaKaren.gov. Mobile Ask Karen is available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) or Android devices.

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