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Researchers Use iwaspoisoned.com and Amazon Reviews to Improve Food Safety

Feb. 16, 2021
Computer research Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

Summary below is from Food Safety News:

"Researchers are using text mining technology to analyze comments and reviews to improve the traceability of and communication about risky food products.

In a new study published by the journal “Risk Analysis”  the research team proposes a new Food Safety Monitoring System (FSMS) that uses consumer comments posted on certain websites to identify products associated with food-related illnesses.

The database consisted of 11,190 randomly selected Amazon reviews of “grocery and canned food” items purchased between 2000 and 2018, along with 8,596 reviews of food products posted on iwaspoisoned.com. These two datasets allowed the researchers to test the text mining tools before analyzing 4.4 million more Amazon reviews.

The computers were programmed to recognize words associated with foodborne illness such as “sick,” “vomiting,” “diarrhea,” “fever” and “nausea.” This resulted in a list of flagged products that included specific brands of protein bars, herbal teas, and protein powder. 

Two of the products flagged by the computers had already been recalled."

Click here to read the Food Safety News article.