USDA’s Ask Karen

Ask Karen is a website and app that connects its users to food safety expertise at USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. It provides information for consumers about preventing foodborne illness, safe food handling and storage, and safe preparation of meat, poultry, and egg products.

Users can find answers to their food safety questions three ways:

  • Searching common questions by topic and/or product (24/7)
  • Submitting a question and receiving an answer via email (24/7)
  • Live chat (10 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST Monday-Friday)

Example questions include:

  • Where can consumers find information on recalls of food products?
  • Does freezing food kill bacteria?
  • Can I bring meat into the U.S.?

Ask Karen is available in English and Spanish on Apple and Android devices and at