Food allergies? There's an app for that

Food allergies? There's an app for that
A few weeks ago, WPTV was the first to bring you the tragic story of a local family who lost their little boy to a nut allergy, just after thanksgiving.

The response to support them was overwhelming, including from another local parent who was inspired to move forward in developing a mobile app to help families suffering from food allergies.

"Sometimes those ingredients are a paragraph long," said app developer Chris Miquel.

That's one of the many battles for Miquel, whose two children live with with nut and dairy allergies.

"So it's been a struggle to find out what they can eat and what not to eat," he said.

The biggest problem comes when the kids leave the security of home and head to a sleepover or relative's house.

"We have to constantly reinforce with those people to be careful, make sure they're not eating this or that, always following up and making sure that they're OK," he explained.

To solve that problem, Miquel developed a mobile app called AllerCheck.

"About six months ago, I was thinking there's got to be a better way to manage this," he said. "I just came up with the idea of building an app that you can search for products on or scan a product right there in front of you."

Miquel showed us how the app works.

"The app is pretty simple," he explained during the demonstration. "You can just search for a product and it will come up. You can also scan a product by just clicking the barcode button."

Miquel picked up a bag of chips to scan with the app using the smartphone camera.

"You can see, no allergens found. Nothing is highlighted because there is no dairy or nuts," he said.

You can then create a profile for your child and select their specific allergies such as dairy, nuts or tree nuts to name a few. You can even make a list of safe foods and favorite foods for your kids, which you can then share with others.

"Share the profile with your family members, friends -- even if it comes down to the future with schools or summer camps," said Miquel.

AllerCheck is in beta stage right now but has thousands of foods in the database. They hope to launch officially in the app stores within the next the year. The plan is to also add even more foods from restaurants or even theme parks.

Parents can download the app for free from their website by clicking here.

Scripps Only Content 2016