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A Food App You're Apt to Like; A Brand-New Invention for Getting Shelf-Life Information

Foodkeeper appFinding better ways to help consumers figure out how long their edible purchases will last is an ongoing priority.  Recently, the U.S. government and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been working together on the matter, and they've come up with an app called Foodkeeper with shelf life information on some 400 products including meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, and produce. Also for shelf-life answers, chemists at MIT have developed an inexpensive portable sensor that can detect gases produced by decaying meat; it tells consumers whether to eat that chicken or discard it.  Let's learn more about both of these projects.

Six Tips for Extending the Shelf Life of Foods

FridgeDo your blueberries or cheeses get moldy within a few days of purchase?  Does the milk you opened 5 days ago already smell sour? Shelf Life Advice can come to your rescue with seemingly endless tips on ways to keep your food fresh longer. The site’s “search” feature can lead you to money-saving info on hundreds of specific products—scientific data on the best ways to select, handle, wrap, store, and refrigerate specific foods to keep them from spoiling prematurely.  In this article, we’ve pulled together some general guidelines on extending shelf life, based upon the expertise of our Advisory board food scientists.  We’ve also provided links to several other Shelf Life Advice write-ups dealing with best food handling practices.

FAQs on BPA: the attacks continue, but are they justified?

soup non-BPAFor the past 6 years, Shelf Life Advice has been posting information about BPA. That's when the chemical first came on the horizon as a health concern, says the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter. In case you've missed all the bad press BPA has gotten, here's a quick definition and review: BPA is a chemical compound (Bisphenol-A) that's been used to make a wide array of plastic products including bottles, silverware food packaging, most soup and beer can linings, store receipts, dental composites, eyeglass lenses, auto parts, and compact disks.  It works fine for all of these purposes, but it also has many people worry about possible harm to the human body. 

 

BPA has inspired fierce debate and a great deal of media attention, including two recent articles in Newsweek.  Here's the main question being debated: Is it harmful to humans, or is the amount we're exposed to so small that its presence is insignificant and/or is it excreted so rapidly that it's no threat to human health? At this time, it's still perfectly legal to use BPA in products that come in contact with foods, except for those consumed by infants. 

FAQs: Cutting Boards and Kitchen Counters--Selection and Care

cutting boardWhat types of cutting boards and kitchen counters should consumers purchase?  What sort of care do they need?   Do they need to be sanitized after each use? In what ways do cleaning and sanitizing differ?  How does one sanitize?  Let's find out what Shelf Life Advice Board scientists advise.

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