In Brief

New App Helps Users Avoid Contaminated Food

microbe sketch
Studies in mice suggest that gut bacteria can influence anxiety and other mental states. (Image credit: Dreamstime)

An upcoming app aims to make avoiding foodborne illness a little easier, whether at home or dining out.

The app, called FoodFeed, was developed by graduate students as part of a competition hosted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

FoodFeed has three tabs: one tab informs users about the latest food recalls and other information about foodborne outbreaks. The second tab lets users look up health code violations at restaurants, and see how a particular restaurant compares to others in the area in terms of the number of violations. The third tab provides food safety tips and information, including the recommended temperature to cook beef. [Salmonella Outbreak: 5 Tips for Cooking Chicken Safely]

Users can also share FoodFeed alerts with friends via social media, or if they think they've become ill from contaminated food, report food poisoning to their local health department.

FoodFeed is designed for the Android operating system. PNNL is working to license the app and make it available to the public in the next few months, according to a news release from the laboratory.

An app called FoodFeed shows users health code violations at a restaurants (Image credit: PNNL)
Rachael Rettner

Rachael is a Live Science contributor, and was a former channel editor and senior writer for Live Science between 2010 and 2022. She has a master's degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a B.S. in molecular biology and an M.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has appeared in Scienceline, The Washington Post and Scientific American.