|My name is Patrick Quade, and I’m the founder of Dinesafe (https://dinesafe.org) and Iwaspoisoned.com (https://iwaspoisoned.com). We crowdsource food poisoning reports, and help detect and prevent outbreaks.|
I launched Iwaspoisoned.com after experiencing a brutal bout of food poisoning from a deli in my hometown of Tribeca, NY. Out of concern for other consumers I called the deli to try and explain what happened and they hung up the phone. That inspired me to create a crowdsourcing platform to allow people to report. The idea was that if it was easy to discover if others were also sick after eating there, that would be useful information not just for other consumers but also for the deli owner.
Foodborne illness sickens 48 million consumers, and kills 3,000 every year in the US, according to US Center for Disease Control estimates. The financial burden is also significant. The total national cost of foodborne illness is estimated at $55 to $92 billion per year. and the impact on companies can also be significant, Chipotle lost $10 billion in market cap from its peak to its lowest point after it’s series of food safety missteps, and the founder and CEO was forced to step down.
We built a mobile responsive website with a simple form that allows consumers to report when they believe they have food poisoning. We moderate every report, with both a back end review, and front end/human review of each submission with the goal of eliminating malicious and inauthentic reports. We then geo analyze the data in real time, allowing us to pinpoint clusters of reporting associated with a single store, looking for multiple independent reports associated with the same store or location in the same time frame. We also store and analyze historial data. We developed an index and benchmarks that enable us to identify brands with negative and positive trends.
With our data, we predicted that Chipotle would have food safety issues ahead of their series of outbreaks, and we detected several of their outbreaks, and many others in real time.
Our business sells data intelligence to industry, focusing on enterprise clients in the restaurant industry. We offer daily alerts, intraday (outbreak) alerts, benchmarking, and secure messaging, plus an API service. We have also had interest in custom email branding/messaging, and "Dinesafe Certification" for those brands that rank consistently well in our analytics.
We now provide daily alerts to over 25,000 consumers, sending over a quarter million emails a month. We partner with and provide daily surveillance services to public health agencies in 6 countries. Within the US we partner with over 350 public health agencies, covering 90% of the US by population. We also provide services to the food Industry, primarily restaurants, but also producers, the grocery and convenience sectors and more. We have over a third of the top 50 restaurant chains in the US on our platform.
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