Can't Eat That - An app for food allergy sufferers

This year I’ve been fortunate to travel a lot more than I ever have done - from Denmark to Japan to France to Canada and the US as well.

I have a severe allergy to tree nuts and legumes (such as peanuts) and this often presents a problem when expressing my dietary requirements both abroad and in new restaurants at home due to language barriers.

There are a few different companies out there that will happily sell you credit card-sized allergy translation cards at £5-10 per language but in a world where I’m more likely to have my iPhone on me than my wallet I decided an app makes more sense.

About 18 months ago I took a short iOS Swift course with Treehouse but I never really got into it. This time, armed with an actual end goal in mind (always useful when learning new things), I sat down and refreshed my understanding and built an app I’ve called Can’t Eat That.

Working with a fantastic translation agency in Cardiff (hi Rob!) the app has phrases describing 11 allergies in 18 languages.

The allergies included in the app are based on the EU’s food allergen label requirements (generally the items highlighted on an food wrapper ingredients label):

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Gluten
  • Milk
  • Soy and soybeans
  • Nuts and nut oil
  • Peanuts and peanut oil
  • Crustaceans (such as prawns and crabs)
  • Molluscs (such as mussels and squid)
  • Celery and celeriac
  • Mustard
  • Sesame
  • Sulfur
  • Lupin

The lovely team at Applingua expertly translated these allergies into the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hindi
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Malaysian
  • Polish
  • Portugese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Thai
  • Turkish

If you have an iOS device please do have a play with the app - both the app and the French language pack are free to download.

Likewise if you yourself have an allergy or have any friends or family who have allergies please do let them know about it.

I will write about my experiences building an iOS app and learning Swift in a future post.