This app makes food allergy shopping easier

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Brands are increasingly aware of their customers dietary needs. While some decide to go vegan or dairy-free due to personal issues preference, many should keep a close eye on the ingredient labels to protect their health. According to American Asthma and Allergy Foundationapproximately 32 million people in the United States suffer from food allergies, and even more from intolerances, which means they have to be careful when shopping.

Even though products on grocery store shelves have become better at disclosing major allergens like milk, nuts and eggs on the label, there are still many risks for people with life-threatening allergies. Who would have thought, for example, that some beers may contain shellfish? A new app called Sifter aims to take the guesswork out of grocery shopping for allergy sufferers.

How brands should label allergens in food

In 2004, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act became a law, requiring the labels of foods packaged in the United States to disclose whether an item contained any of what was at the time the “big eight” allergens: milk, egg, fish, shellfish, nuts, wheat, peanuts and soy.

According to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, sesame is a rising food allergy that was added to the list in 2021, making it the “big nine”. This development signals that more major food sensitivities may be recognized in the future, but these are not yet required to be explicitly recognized on labels.

How Sifter helps allergy sufferers shop

The noprofit Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) in partnership with a food technology company Sifter SP, Inc. to create an app that can be used in any grocery store. In the Sieve applicationusers can set up their MyDiet profile to rate any allergies, as good as other diets or health restrictions– for example, you can indicate if you are dealing with conditions such as IBS, heartburn or diabetes to guide your grocery shopping shopping trip. There is also an option to specify any medications you take so that you can avoid buying things that contain ingredients that could interfere with their effectivenessAs grapefruit.

Once your profile is completed, the application “sift through” grocery options and only show you what fits your dietary restrictions; you can add these items to your shopping list before going to the store. You can also scan product barcodes in stores using the app to see if an item matches your profile. Currently, the app appears to have direct partnerships with Amazon, Instacart, Thrive Markets, Walgreens, and Walmart, making it easy to find brands directly in those stores.

If you need inspiration, the app includes recipes for people with allergies or other specific diets, including a new list dedicated to allergen-free holiday classics. One of Sifter’s perks seems to be that you can use it not only for your own restrictions, but for those of your entire household. This will facilitate the task of family to enjoy this upcoming great vacation meals together without worrying about potentially harmful foods.


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