January 24, 2019

New Food Safety Phone App Coming Soon

The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory hosted a competition last summer for grad students to design health-related mobile phone apps. The apps will help alert consumers to foodborne illness outbreaks and threats and seasonal flu alerts. The two apps are called FoodFeed, which is all about food safety, and FL•U, which will create localized outbreak maps.

Food Poisoning IBDFoodFeed is designed for the Android phone system. It has three tabs. One is a news feed of articles and alerts about food recalls, foodborne illness outbreaks, and other information about consumer safety. A second tab highlights health code violations at restaurants, including details of specific violations. Consumers will also be able to compare restaurants against the average number of food safety and health code violations in the area. And the third tab offers information on risks generally associated with food, such as the bacteria found in raw meats, and recommended safe final temperatures for cooked food. App users will also be able to share information on social media, and report food poisoning cases to health departments.

Competitors went through a crash course on biosurveillance before developing the apps. PNNL hopes that the apps can be available to the public in a few months.

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