FSIS Expands Meat and Poultry Consumer Hotline Hours

food_safety_inspectionThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced on April 3, 2017 that it is increasing the delivery of safe food handling and preparation information by expanding the hours of its Meat and Poultry Hotline and Ask Karen chat services.

Consumers can contact the Meat and Poultry Hotline to speak to a live food expert:

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Background on the FSIS Meat and Poultry Hotline

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.

The FSIS Meat and Poultry Hotline has been educating consumers since 1985. The toll-free telephone service assists in the prevention of foodborne illnesses by answering consumers’ questions about the safe storage, handling and preparation of meat, poultry and egg products.

“Our hotline provides a valuable service in educating consumers about how to safely prepare food,” said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza. “By keeping the hotline open an additional two hours, we are expanding our reach to allow more consumers, including those on the West Coast, to have their food safety questions answered.”

The hotline is supplemented by Ask Karen, a 24-hour online chat service that also answers consumers’ burning questions about food safety. Questions are answered by food safety specialists via live chat and email.

“Our hotline staff are experts in their field and have backgrounds in nutrition, food technology and public health,” says Almanza. “Experts are available to talk with people in English and Spanish, so we are able to help address the food safety needs of diverse communities.”

Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1-888-674-6854

Ask Karen chat service: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/informational/askkaren