New app seeks to help food allergic dine out safely

Those with food allergies know just how dangerous dining out can be.

At home, food allergic consumers can carefully choose everything that goes into and touches their food — down to the last spice used, and choice of cooking oil and utensils. At a restaurant, the food allergic have to trust that their food was safely sourced and prepared.

“You really have to be aware of hidden ingredients. Your allergen could be lurking in breading, a salad dressing, baked goods or sauces, then it might not be obvious when your meal arrives,” said Dr. Jonathan Field, director of the Allergy and Asthma Clinic at NYU Medical Center and Bellevue Medical Center in New York, in an article on webmd.com.

A new app called AllergyEats has been developed with the goal of helping food allergic consumers help each other determine which restaurants do the best job of protecting those with food allergies.

“The growing number of AllergyEats ratings of all restaurants around the country helps the food allergy community make more informed decisions about which restaurants to visit and which to avoid, based on how well or poorly they’ve accommodated other diners’ food allergies,” said AllergyEats’ Paul Antico in a release.

AllergyEats is a free app (GooglePlay or App Store) and website using a crowdsourced model where people find and rate restaurants based solely on their ability to accommodate food-allergic diners. AllergyEats lists more than 650,000 restaurants across the United States, which people can rate, and also offers user comments, web links, menus, directions and more.

Restaurants are easily searchable by geographic location, so people can find allergy-friendly establishments around town and around the country. The app, website and related social media forums help families with food allergies reduce the guesswork and the anxiety surrounding dining out with food allergies.

Other resources for safely dining out with food allergies include SafeFARE. For those managing food allergies or restaurant professionals, SafeFARE provides tools and resources to help create safer dining experiences. This program is provided by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) – an organization working on behalf of Americans with food allergies.

To learn more about Neogen’s food allergen testing solutions, click here.

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