Here's some good news for restaurant diners with serious food allergies: Startup 6SensorLabs is working on an"affordable" device that will allow users to quickly test if a food has allergens. According to TechCrunch, the company recently raised $4 million to create the portable device — called Canary — which will cost users around $150. In addition to purchasing the sensor, customers will have to buy disposable "one-time use units" that are put in the food to test it. he company is also aiming to build a mobile app that will help users share the results of the their tests with others to educate them about what foods are safe to eat.
While there are many food allergies out there, the first model of Canary will test for gluten. The company's website explains that the founders have "long struggled with Celiac Disease and various food allergies" so they decided to create a "company to bring clarity and trust back to the dinner table." If restaurants make use of the device they may be able to alleviate the need for menus tailored to those with allergies.
TechCrunch notes that the sensor isn't strictly for those with Celiac but can also be used by "those who have decided to move to a gluten-free diet for other reasons." Those that are both gluten-averse and also device-averse can now just go dine at chef Mark Ladner's new Celiac-friendly pasta concept, Pasta Flyer. The company hopes to launch the portable Canary sensor early next year.