When food companies change ingredients in products, they often do so without alerting the consumer of the change. For most, this change goes unnoticed or is a minor inconvenience. This is not so for the 2% of adults and 5% of children and infants in the U.S. that have food allergies. According to information taken from the FDA web site each year in the U.S., it is estimated that a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis results in 30,000 emergency room visits, 2,000 hospitalizations and 150 deaths. Out of necessity, individuals with food allergies are more vigilant and check food ingredients more frequently than the general population.
When Dwayne was doing research on his food safety app. , he noticed that all allergy sites stressed the need for checking each product’s ingredients every time, no matter how time consuming the task. What concerned him most were the many stories of normally vigilant consumers who had lapsed once with a familiar product they had used for a long period of time with no problems, only to have a sudden and unexpected reaction to a new ingredient.
Dwayne states, “It became obvious to me that because of the potential harm these allergens pose to consumers, more effort to alert the public was required than simply changing the ingredient listing. Prompting consumers that a change has occurred in a food’s ingredients would add a new level of safety that presently does not exist”.