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Peanut allergy? Avoid nuts with these 3 free apps

Whether you are cooking in or eating out, these apps can help peanut allergy sufferers avoid foods with nuts.

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If you don't want to spring for a pricey peanut sensor, then you can use your phone to avoid foods that contain nuts. Here are three free apps that can help peanut allergy sufferers.

ShopWell

ShopWell is a health app that helps you achieve a wide variety of health goals, but for our purposes here, I'll focus on its bar code scanner that you can use to check if foods contain nuts.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

To start using ShopWell, you must create an account with an email or your Facebook account. Then, you can edit your profile to tell the app that you want to avoid nuts. To do so, tap the hamburger button in the top-left, tap your account at the top and then tap the Edit Profile button. In the I want to avoid section, you can choose from 19 items, including Peanuts and Tree Nuts.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

With those items selected, you can scan the bar code of a food product and if it contains nuts or traces of nuts, you'll see a red, stop-hand icon and whether the product was flagged for peanuts, tree nuts or both.

ShopWell is free for iOS and for Android.

Ipiit

Ipiit is another app that scans foods so you can avoid foods to which you are allergic. It offers 16 items that you want to avoid, but it lists only almonds among the nut family. At the bottom of the My Preferences page, you can click a link to request items such as Nut Free, Peanut Free and Tree Nuts Free to be added to the list.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Ipiit is free for iOS and for Android.

AllergyEats

AllergyEats won't help you in the grocery store but can come in handy when you are planning to eat out. The app lets you search for nearby restaurants and get information about how accommodating each is for allergy sufferers. Tell the app which foods you are allergic to, including peanuts and tree nuts, and you'll get a rating for your allergies for most restaurants in the search results (it's on a five-point scale, with a 5.0 meaning an establishment is the most accommodating).

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

More helpful than the ratings are the user comments for restaurants, which can tell you how accommodating the staff was and whether the accommodations were made begrudgingly or with a smile.

AllergyEats is free for iOS and for Android.