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Can I Eat This? Mobile App Helps International Travelers Make Safe Dining Choices

CDC Travelers’ Health app, designed by ORISE, gains attention on multiple websites

How ORISE is Making a Difference

The Can I Eat This? mobile app, which ORISE staff helped develop for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been receiving positive feedback from food and travel experts.

The app, recently released by the CDC’s Travelers’ Health Branch, earned a positive review on from Genevieve Contey. “Download this app right now before you even pack a bag,” she wrote. “The app is super-easy to use, wherever you roam.”

The Travelers’ Health Branch sought to develop an app to help travelers make safe food and drink choices while traveling internationally and tasked ORISE with designing iPhone and Android versions.

“Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of travelers, and a large part of that includes food and drink safety. The ORISE team’s experience with mobile app design helped the idea for this app come to life, and we hope the app will prove to be a valuable resource for travelers,” said Kelly Holton, Travelers’ Health Communication and Education team lead.

Other DigitalGov reviewers were equally enthusiastic. Marisa Moore of Food and Nutrition magazine remarked, “CDC’s Can I Eat This? app puts food safety in a foreign land at the palm of your hands. It takes the guesswork out of determining which foods are safe to eat in countries around the world.” She noted the app compiles CDC’s well-researched travel health information in a portable package.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation featured the app on its New Public Health blog, and a review also appeared in the Huffington Post’s LiveScience.

To use the Can I Eat This? app, travelers enter their destination and then follow simple prompts through a series of short questions. In seconds, they are advised whether the food or drink is safe to consume. The iPhone app is free for both iOS and Android devices.

The ORISE team researched available travel apps to identify gaps in the marketplace and led discussions on app concepts. Team members advised on content, designed graphics for screens, located images and built mock-ups. They coordinated with app developers to test functionality and engaged in quality assurance processes.

“Our experience with ORISE has been a positive one,” Holton said. “The ORISE team has done excellent work on this project and is a valuable resource for us. We have received timely, professional support for this project.”

ORISE is also working with the Travelers’ Health Branch to create TravWell, an app travelers can use before, during and after international trips to ensure safe and healthy travels. The TravWell app is expected to be available later in 2014.

ORISE is managed by ORAU for the U.S. Department of Energy.

"Can I Eat This" mobile app