Food allergies? There’s an app for that!

CorporateWoman_ChecksPhone_BigstockM_blogUnlabeled allergens continue to be the leading cause of food recalls in the U.S., resulting in lower consumer confidence and an economic burden for the industry and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who currently regulates about 80% of the food manufactured for sale in the U.S.

However, a new smartphone app, known as FoodMaestro, was recently launched and aims to help keep consumers safe from mistakenly eating foods containing ingredients to which they are allergic, and in turn, raising their confidence and overall trust when it comes to the food supply.

The app works when a user scans a packaged food’s barcode and is alerted if the food contains any pre-entered ingredients the user has submitted as an allergen or otherwise wishes to avoid eating. Upon scanning the barcode, the app presents a sad or smiley face, which indicates the safety of the food.

According to a recent article, the app has already teamed up with a variety of grocery stores and supermarkets – mostly in Europe—and has entered data from more than 100,000 food items sold at these stores. FoodMaestro said they are also in talks with a variety of other supermarket chains and hopes to add additional products to their app later this year.

“Food allergy sufferers are known to agonize over food labels to remain symptom-free, which makes grocery shopping a painstaking task,” Dharmendra Parel, cofounder of FoodMaestro, said in the article. “We’ve combined our skills and expertise to produce a powerful service that offers transparency and enhances food product options for allergy and intolerance sufferer — helping them to live more freely.”

In addition to the app, FoodMaestro offers an online portal that allows those with food allergies research products from home, and use comprehensive filters to discover foods that are suitable for them, the article states.

The release of the app comes just shy of new regulations the food industry in the U.S. expecting through the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which is set to be implemented next month. Food manufacturers, packagers, importers and others in the food industry will have between one and three years to fully comply with the new regulations depending upon their industry.

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