Got Food Allergies? There’s An App For That

We live in a fast paced, take- out/drive- through, oversized portions, culture. But what if you or your children suffer from food allergies? How do you know where or what is safe to eat? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists eight common foods that people are allergic to: eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts. More and more people have a gluten allergy as well.  Unfortunately, almost everything we eat either contains these ingredients or is exposed to these foods during preparation.

Thankfully, many fast food chains have realized that they too need to provide allergy information if they are wanting patronage. Apple has, in its infinite awesomeness, provided us with an App: iCanEatOnTheGo Gluten Free & Allergen Free for iPhone, iPod touch, and/or iPad for $2.99. It consists of a database of 34 food chains that a user can personalize with their allergies and concerns, including gluten intolerance.

Food chains in the App:

Reviews are mixed in its effectiveness; some say the ingredients lists need to be updated, and some reviews pointed out that it is not “friendly” for those with Celiac’s disease. If you do not have an Apple device, you can always go to the chain’s website and attain their gluten free menu (if offered) and their allergen charts. However, the allergen charts only cover the eight most common food allergens as dictated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is important to note that you should read descriptions of food preparation and any possible cross contamination before ordering and consuming anything from the menu.

So, empower yourself through education of what fast food chains will be able to accommodate you and your family’s specific dietary needs, and enjoy!

Ramie Tritt, MD, President, Atlanta ENT

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