Allergy Force Insights
Food Barcode Scan
It's so easy to miss an allergen when you read ingredients lists at the store. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a ‘second set of eyes’ to double check you? Here's a tool that can make it easier...
Do you spend too much time in grocery stores reading ingredients list after ingredients list? Trying to avoid foods that could make you sick, or worse?
It’s easy to miss allergens hiding out on ingredients lists...
Under unfamiliar names (like ‘casein’ for milk, or ‘tahini’ for sesame, or ‘albumen’ for egg, or ‘earthnut’ for peanut, etc.), or
Printed in teeny-tiny ‘mice’ type (that’s tucked away in a hard-to-see places, think candy wrappers), or
Buried deep in a way-too-long list, or
Printed out in white text on clear or reflective packaging.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a ‘second set of eyes’ to double check your read-through of ingredients? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a tool to quickly rule out foods with your allergens?
Now you do.
The Allergy Force app includes a Food Scan feature that lets you quickly scan barcodes on packaged foods. The scan screens out foods with any of your allergens, checking multiple databases plus comprehensive lists of hidden allergens that hide out under unusual names. The feature taps into the unique Allergy Profile you create after downloading the app.
When a scan finds a match with your Allergy Profile, the matched ingredient(s) is clearly identified. You are warned NOT to add the food item to your shopping cart. Result = RED = ‘STOP’
When the scan doesn’t find any match with your Allergy Profile, the app warns you to read the label carefully because you may need to make some judgement calls, for example, related to precautionary labelling (PAL)* on a food package. Result = YELLOW = ‘BE CAUTIOUS’
Here’s a step-by-step overview of how the Food Scan works — it couldn’t be easier:
The app asks you to set your Allergy Profile as soon as you download it and register. This profile curates many app features — like the barcode scan — just for you.
Tap the barcode icon at the bottom of the Home Page to access the scan feature.
Find the barcode on the product you want to scan and tap the ‘Scan’ button at the top of the page.
Align the scan’s guides with the barcode you want to scan. Sometimes you need to move your phone closer or farther away to line it up with the guides.
Get your result. If a red result displays, STOP. The food item contains your allergens. Do not put it in your shopping cart. If a yellow result displays, BE CAUTIOUS. The scan did not find any of your allergens in the ingredients so you must read the label to verify the ingredients and any precautionary allergen labelling.
This feature helps you quickly rule out unsafe foods so you can spend your time reading labels for food items that actually might work for you.
This feature requires a cellular or wifi connection in the store to work.
If you already have items in the cupboard at home, use the app to triple check your accuracy reading labels the old fashioned way.
The Food Scan is a ‘Premium’ (paid) feature, but you can try it with no commitment during a 14-day free trial. You will become more efficient at the grocery store when you use the app.
Spend less time reading ingredients labels so you
have more time to enjoy family, friends, and life!
Get the App
The app offers Free Forever and Premium access. You can try out Premium during a 14-day, no commitment free trial. We hope the app becomes your new BFF for navigating food allergic living.
…empowering you to live your best life with food allergies.
The purpose of the App User Guide series of posts is to educate the food allergy community about the Allergy Force food allergy app — what it can do, how it works, how to get the most out of it. We're committed to helping you live freely with food allergies — with less fear, less anxiety, more confidence — through technology and education. Our app is peace of mind in your pocket.
Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL) is allergen-related information that is voluntarily supplied by manufacturers on ingredients lists. This information was introduced by the food industry and is not standardized under current food labeling law. Examples of PAL statements include: ‘Manufactured in same facility as…’, ‘Processed on the same equipment as…, ‘May contain…’.