After reviewing several food safety-related iPhone applications, we’ve found our favorite: Clean Eats.
iPhone applications have quite a bit to offer on the food front. If you’re in St. Louis and you must know where the closest Filipino restaurant is, iWant, Urban Spoon, or Yelp applications can help you in a jiffy. You can also use iPhone apps to find an open table at a nearby restaurant, track calories and ingredients, or calculate your tip.
As more stories emerge about the complexities and risks of the globalizing and highly-processed food supply, more consumers are looking for ways to get information about the food on their plates. In the iPhone app marketplace there are a couple of promising apps to meet this growing demand.
A Guide to Food Safety iPhone Applications: Today’s Featured App: Clean Eats
Clean Eats ($.99) promises to be the most useful food safety iPhone application yet. It uses your GPS location to give you food safety ratings of local restaurants on an A-F scale, based on aggregated health inspection records. (Oh and while you’re looking at the letter grade, you can also read restaurant reviews within the application via Yelp)
“Most people never think twice about what goes in to their favorite restaurant meal, yet the CDC estimates that 76 million Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses each year,” according to Imaginary Feet, the DC-based company that developed the app. “With numbers like that, it pays to dig up all the dirty secrets of your favorite restaurants.”
And if you’re really curious about your eatery’s safety record, you can also read the health inspector’s comments–which, according to Imaginary Feet president Tom McLeod, are “scary and hilarious at the same time.”
“They’ll say things like: open paint can next to silverware,” or “Failure to stop rodent infestation,” said McLeod, who noted that he and his team are thinking about adding a random comment feature to the front page of the application.
The app currently includes information on all restaurants in Virginia, Los Angeles County, New York City, all of Pennsyvlania, and San Francisco (over 120,000 in all), and the company is adding new locations every week.