Food Allergy Apps To Help Keep You Safe

Whether You Need Product Information or To Find an ER, These 5 Apps Can Help

When you're living with serious food allergies, every trip to the grocery store can seem like a trip through a minefield, and each meal out can seem like a threat instead of a pleasure.

Fortunately, there are several companies taking the lead on developing apps you can use to scan your groceries or find restaurants that know how to produce allergy-safe meals. I've identified five you might want to consider downloading.

If you're avoiding gluten specifically (and only gluten), you might want to check out this article:

Otherwise, if gluten's not your issue (or if you have multiple food allergies), read on for some apps you may find valuable.


woman using smartphone at grocery store
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ContentChecked makes a family of mobile apps for people seeking to avoid particular allergens and ingredients.

Products include the company's original ContentChecked app, which scans products' bar codes and tells you whether the food in question contains the allergens you've pre-selected. The app's database contains the vast majority of products available in the grocery store, and scans them for many different allergens, ranging from the "big eight" food allergens to less common allergens, such as celery, mustard and sulphites.

ContentChecked also makes SugarChecked, which scans for added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and sugar alcohol. Finally, the company offers MigraineChecked, which looks for ingredients, additives and chemical compounds known to trigger migraines.

The apps are available for iPhone and Android devices. ContentChecked costs $2.99.

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MyFoodFacts is another app that allows users to scan products' bar codes to check for allergens — 12 different potential allergens in all. You enter your family's list of allergens into the app, and once it scans a bar code, it provides you with an easy-to-read list of ingredients (in a large font, unlike most ingredients lists), plus pop-up allergy warnings. The app also can tell you whether products include a particular ingredient.

MyFoodFacts is available for iPhone and costs $1.19.

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AllergyEats Mobile App

AllergyEatsMobile allows users to use a "find near me" search for restaurants and returns a list ranked by allergy-friendly rating. If you are traveling to a new city, you can use the app to search for convenient, allergy-friendly restaurants.

The AllergyEats website was started 2010 by Paul Antico, after he experienced difficulty finding safe restaurants for his three children with food allergies. The AllergyEatsMobile app took first place in's 2012 Readers' Choice Awards for Best Allergy App.

AllergyEatsMobile is free and is available for iPhone and Android.

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EMNet FindER

EMNet FindER is a free app developed by Massachusetts General Hospital that allows users to find the closest emergency room. The database is national and comprehensive.

The app shows locations of nearby hospitals on a map, with a bar at the bottom of the screen that reads "The closest ER is __ miles away. Tap here for directions." It also provides address and phone information that is constantly updated. If you are traveling with food allergies, having this knowledge easily accessible in your phone is invaluable.

EMNet FindER is available for iPhone.

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iAvoid Food Allergy

iAvoid Food Allergy, developed by a physician, doesn't give you information on specific products. Instead, you choose your allergen, and the app tells you the various ingredient names for that allergen, plus the places where the allergen is found. For example, it states that peanuts may appear in ingredient lists under nine different names, and provides a list of foods that always contain peanuts or frequently contain peanuts.

iAvoid Food Allergy is free and available for iPhone.

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