ZEGO, a new brand in nutritious, allergy-friendly snacks, has launched its next generation of energy bars with packaging that features real-time data designed to improve consumer food safety. The bar wrappers and boxes feature a patent-pending QR-code system, which when scanned, provides test results from the bar’s batch, showing any measurable amounts of specific allergens. ZEGO’s sunflower-seed-based bars are formulated without the eight major food allergens (including nuts, soy, dairy and gluten). Like most energy bars, though, ZEGOs are made in a shared facility, where cross contact with allergens is possible, even though careful control procedures are followed.

However, while most manufacturers simply place a warning of potential cross-contact on their packaging, ZEGO goes much further by allowing consumers to see exactly how much of a potential allergen might be in their bar’s specific batch — and all with a simple scan using their smartphones.

“The ZEGO QR code allows consumers to have better control over their food safety,” says ZEGO co-founder Colleen Kavanagh. “For example, knowing a ‘gluten-free’ product’s testing showed less than 2.5 PPM gluten compared to the FDA’s allowed 20 PPM enables very sensitive people to make safer choices. This is even more important for those with peanut or dairy allergies, who may choose to eat foods with allergen disclaimers.”

Through providing such specific food-safety information for consumers, ZEGO is literally setting ‘a higher bar’ for the industry — leading the way with allergen testing, reporting and communication — to improve consumer safety and health.

“Providing real-time data via a QR code not only informs and empowers purchasing choices, it also provides a mechanism for feedback, so consumers can tell manufacturers what matters most to them, and manufacturers can respond,” says Jonathan Shambroom, co-founder of ZEGO. “While sample testing is not a safety guarantee, our rigorous testing, transparency and direct communication via our packaging will hopefully become the industry standard. We want our customers to enjoy the great taste of ZEGO bars and equally enjoy great peace of mind.”