With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.

05 May 2017

Food Allergy Consumer Tip Fridays: DineSafe App

The DineSafe App is a food allergy friendly restaurant app which I have been following for some time. I have been in touch with one of the owners via Twitter (http://twitter.com/DineSafeApp) a number of times and the company seems very committed to truly helping make dining out easier and safer for individuals managing food allergies. I tried the app months ago and there were no local restaurants which had input their allergen information yet, but when I looked again more recently, I now see one has signed up. It's only a matter of time before there are more, and that is exciting!

When a food allergy consumer signs up for DineSafe, they may select which allergens or foods they need to avoid. The list of options is impressive. There is a list of Top 8, "All restaurants are required to track", Top 14 "Optional for restaurants to track" (which includes celery, gluten, lupin, mustard, sesame, and sulphates) and then there is a "Popular" list which includes: added fructose, beef, bell pepper, carrots, chicken, citrus, corn, eggplant, garlic, gelatin, latext, msg, mushroom, onion, peppercorn, pork, potato, seeds, and tomato. 

Restaurants that join Dinesafe provide this ingredient information to DineSafe so that when a consumer views a restaurant's "maintained" listing (as provided by the restaurant) they can see which menu items include and don't include their allergens. It makes scanning a menu so much easier and quicker. There are also restaurants listed on DineSafe which have not provided their allergen info to DineSafe, so the information may not be as reliable but at least provides a starting point for consumers. In addition, consumers can petition restaurants to join DineSafe. 

Another nice feature of DineSafe which will be helpful for those who are not managing food allergies is that consumers on certain diets may opt for the restaurant menus to screen for menu items that fit their particular diet, be it vegetarian, vegan, raw, paleo, organic, no sugar, low sodium, low fat, Kosher, Halal, or GMO free.

Of course, no app can provide information about a restaurant's actual implementation of procedures to prevent cross-contamination. Restaurants that join DineSafe, however, are obviously interested in reaching consumers with food allergies and by providing the detailed allergen information for their menus have demonstrated a certain level of food allergy awareness that may be comforting to consumers managing food allergies. In addition, you can cross reference the detailed restaurant menu info from DineSafe with restaurant reviews on AllergyEats. I must admit, I am curious to try the local dining establishment which has already signed up with DineSafe and am impressed by the detailed information on DineSafe, which I wouldn't have seen otherwise.

Check out DineSafe! You can download it on Apple and Android devices.

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