With spring renewal upon us, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service invites home cooks to gain kitchen confidence by refreshing their perspectives on food safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year approximately 48 million Americans suffer from foodborne illnesses, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Many of these illnesses can be prevented by changing behaviors in the kitchen and gaining a little kitchen confidence.

What is kitchen confidence?

Kitchen confidence is simply the confidence in your ability to safely prepare delicious meals for your loved ones and yourself. Even armed with grandma’s best recipes, the most experienced cooks can unknowingly make food safety mistakes that can make people sick. So this spring, be confident in your food safety skills by accessing the following resources: FoodSafety.gov, the Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888MPHotline and the FoodKeeper app.

Throughout the spring you’ll find blogs, roasting charts, storage guidance, and the latest news on food recalls at FoodSafety.gov. You’ll also have access to a wealth of expertise to help tackle any food preparation challenge.

Among the many tools available on FoodSafety.gov is the FoodKeeper. It’s available on the website, and as a mobile app for smartphones and tablets. With more than 100,000 downloads onto Android and iOS devices, the FoodKeeper is quickly establishing itself as the go-to quick reference guide for safe food storage. Available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, the FoodKeeper helps limit food waste by providing storage information on more than 400 food items, including produce, baby food, dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood. The FoodKeeper also offers customizable notifications that sync with smartphone calendars to remind users when it is time to use, freeze or dispose of products.

Protecting families from foodborne illness is one of the Food Safety and Inspection Services’ primary goals. Our food safety specialists on our Meat and Poultry Hotline can personally answer your food safety questions on weekdays year-round. The hotline receives more than 50,000 calls annually. This toll-free telephone service, which began July 1, 1985, helps prevent foodborne illness by answering questions about the safe storage, handling and preparation of meat, poultry and egg products.

This spring, get that kitchen confidence back. Visit FoodSafety.gov.

Consumers can learn more about key food safety practices by following FSIS @USDAFoodSafety on Twitter or www.Facebook.com/FoodSafety.gov on Facebook. Consumers with questions about food safety can call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or chat live with a food safety specialist in English or Spanish at AskKaren.gov, available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.