Good news for food lovers. Google has developed a new algorithm with researchers from Harvard University that can flag restaurants that could possibly give you food poisoning. This algorithm can flag lapses in food safety in almost real time. So far, it has tested the algorithm in Las Vegas and Chicago to cross reference users’ food poisoning-related search terms with saved location history data from smartphones about restaurants recently visited by the user.
Some restaurants that were flagged by Google’s algorithm as potentially unsafe were then visited by health inspectors. They also visited restaurants that were flagged by more conventional methods like complaints from customers. The inspectors didn’t know which restaurant was flagged by which method.
Then they compared the algorithm’s results with routine inspections conducted by health departments in the two cities. The rate of potentially unsafe restaurants flagged by the algorithm was 52.3 percent compared to the overall rate of detection by routine inspections which was 22.7 percent across both cities. This just might save you from an illness.
The algorithm could play a major role in the fight against foodborne illness in the future. It could help make n=more restaurants clean up their act too. This will be interestng.