New cases of food allergies are on the rise in America. It has been estimated that 11 to 12 million (or 1 in 25) Americans have food allergies. Many food allergies can cause anaphylaxis or even death, meaning that controlling food intake is extremely important. Food allergies can make eating out extremely difficult or nearly impossible. Developed by AllergyFree Passport, the app iCanEat OnTheGo Gluten and Allergy Free helps people with food allergies find suitable, allergen-free (fast food) dining options almost anywhere.
The app iCanEat OnTheGo helps people who have food allergies find fast food that is safe to eat. iCanEat gives allergen stats on 15 top fast-food service chains including, McDonalds, Sonic, KFC, Subway and Dunkin Donuts. To begin, the user must choose from a list of allergens to provide a guide for the app to follow in sorting through menu options at each restaurant. The allergens to choose from include some of the most common allergens: milk, eggs, fish, gluten, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. Once your allergens have been specified, you can then navigate to the restaurant menus where each item on the menu is marked as to whether or not it contains your specified allergens.
All of the information contained in this app is taken from each restaurant’s website. Two of the restaurants have outlined gluten-free menus, and two other restaurants have full ingredient lists for each menu item. The Resources category outlines how to use the app and also has very helpful information about safely eating. There are also links to valuable websites associated with AllergyFree Passport that educate people about food allergy safety.
This app is nice for people on the go or for people who are new to the world of food allergies and need some guidance. Some of the information regarding gluten is incomplete, however. Many of the restaurant websites do not have allergen information regarding gluten, so the app cannot provide as much information on gluten. Hopefully more restaurants will provide this information in the future, so updates of this app may have more accurate information.
Even if you use this app you must still be aware of the possibility of cross-contamination or the restaurant changing the ingredients in menu items. Because of this inherent risk with eating out, this app does come with a disclaimer. While iCanEat OnTheGo contains a lot of useful information, the price tag seems slightly high for information that many people with allergies have already researched.
iCanEat OnTheGo Gluten and Allergy Free requires iPhone OS 2.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone & iPod Touch