If You Have Food Allergies, You'll Want to Download This App
Based on your profile, you'll get timely alerts about recalled food, toys, furniture and other items relevant to you.
If you are one of the 32 million Americans who suffers from food allergies, there's a new app called Whystle you should know about. Its founder, Lauren Bell, is a former federal prosecutor under the United States Department of Justice. Her job prosecuting companies for unsafe products (as well as being a mother to four children) inspired her to create an app that sends personalized updates on the ingredients you avoid due to allergies or products you regularly purchase. According to their site, Whystle analyzes information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, and more. The app costs $3.99 per month or $23.99 for a full year (which is $2 per month). It's currently only available to download on iOS devices with a free 14 day trial.
Of course, anyone with severe food allergies knows to stay away from products containing those trigger ingredients. But what if an item labeled "peanut-free" was accidentally contaminated and gets recalled? According to a news release, a Whystle alert recently saved user Amanda Milam's son who has life-threatening allergies to peanuts. The app notified her about a Ritz cheese cracker recall this month, due to a packaging mix-up where the peanut butter variety got in boxes marked as cheese.
How the App Works
When opening the app, you'll have the option to select your "alert settings." Select if you are pregnant, have children, or pets, so the app knows which products to cater to your profile. When selecting allergies, a list of common food allergies (i.e. milk, peanuts, wheat, and shellfish) are available. After customizing your settings, you can browse your custom alerts in one place as well as look at all alerts created on the app. The app isn't limited just to food. Whystle shares product recalls such as makeup containing mold, a stroller with a choking hazard, or a dresser that has a tip-over risk. If you do happen to have one of the products that are recalled, the app tells you how to get a replacement or refund. Another gotta-love feature is the search tool. Use it to look up the brand or product you're shopping for to find out if it's free of your allergen, then save your favorite brands to get notified of any future recalls.
Because the company relies on many credible resources to give you the best safety information, it can't be free. But with more than 200,000 people requiring emergency medical treatment due to allergic reactions, the (up to $4) monthly price tag seems like a worthy spend to keep you and your family safe.