It is amazing how technology has changed us. When my celiac daughter was first diagnosed, I had to bring a binder of information with me to the store. It would take FOREVER to read through the ingredients (let alone understand them).
Now websites and phone and tablet apps are changing the landscape. A new one called Content Checked is an app that could help your family out, especially if you are dealing with multiple food allergies.
Full disclosure: Content Checked has been an advertiser on The Savvy Celiac. The company’s app goes beyond gluten free. Here’s how it works: If you have an allergy to any of the 16 ingredients on the list (which includes the top 8 allergens, gluten and other foods like mollusks, mustard and celery) you just set your app to the allergens you are looking for.
Scan the food item and instantly it will bring you the information you need to know.
The only food we can’t have in our family is gluten. So my settings were originally set to just that as an ingredient to look for. I scanned our favorite Caesar salad dressing and it came up gluten free.
Then I changed our allergens to not only include gluten but also lactose and eggs. I scanned the same product. It still said it was gluten free, but it said the product contained eggs and lactose and then offered alternatives.
The database of products is good for big brands, but seems a bit limited when it comes to store brands. Living on a budget often means purchasing store brands when I can. Each store brand item I scanned came up as that the product “doesn’t exist.”
Users can add to the database if their product doesn’t show. I did add a Market Pantry canned pumpkin product to the mix. Alice Konyves of Content Checked said in the US, the app at this time has “about 70 % of all conventional brands”. Konyves also said the company continues to include new brands (both conventional and private) and products often, recently adding more than 25,000, since the initial posting of this report.
The app says “Allergy status is not verified by professionals”. When I checked with Content Checked about that, Konyves said, their staff asks producers about cross contamination and whether the food item has the allergen, doesn’t have the allergen or has trace amounts of it.
Overall, I really like the concept of what they are doing by trying to find a way to make it easier to find foods for people with multiple food intolerances or allergies- especially if you buy brand name foods. I do think it could be worth a try for your family or maybe your extended family when they are trying to cook for you.