How to Avoid Potluck Food Poisoning | eChurchGiving Blog

How to Avoid Potluck Food Poisoning with the New PotLUCK App

Potlucks are scary. Many of the dishes served are prepared by people with no food handling training or permits whatsoever. And despite how hard you try to convince them otherwise, your church leadership refuses to identify which home each dish came from with a little placard—even though everyone knows that Bertha’s senility is starting to make her contributions suspect.

Meanwhile our deepest fears are confirmed with news stories about:

While many churches are against gambling in any form, it seems we’re regularly playing roulette with our community meals.

Well, not any more!

Introducing the PotLUCK app

Now you can protect yourself and your loved ones from food-borne illnesses with PotLUCK, the new app from echurch. Known for making quality church apps powered by Pushpay technology, echurch has put their expertise toward protecting the church from dangerous egg salad sandwiches.

“No one should dread going to a church community event,” Alejandro Reyes—echurch’s digital marketing manager—tells us. “We want to do everything we can to ensure that God’s faithful aren’t cooling their forehead on bathroom porcelain, praying for death.”

With this conviction in mind, echurch assembled a team of biologists, chemists, and former cafeteria workers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create a mobile app capable of protecting people from nefarious germs and bacteria. They succeeded with the PotLUCK app—now available for iOS and Android.


How does it work?

When you see a dish on the buffet table that you’re interested in, take three pictures from various angles and hit analyze. Those images will be run through a series of algorithms to identify potential discoloration or problems in composition. In approximately 15 – 20 seconds, you’ll receive a smiley emoji indicating that dish is safe or an illness emoji alerting you to move on.

You can then use the social feature to tweet or post a Facebook update alerting the other people in line to avoid the questionable dish, saving them valuable time.

Impossible! You can identify tainted food with a picture!?

Through years of stringent testing, we’ve been able to identify the changes in color and texture that most ingredients go through as they begin to deteriorate or become infected with potentially deadly bacteria. Then we cross referenced them in the thousands of casseroles, entrées, and desserts found in church potlucks around the world.

For instance, did you know that unrefrigerated mayonnaise goes through over 370 color variations as it becomes entirely inedible? After running innumerable tests on volunteers*, we have isolated the exact color mayo turns as dangerous elements are introduced. We then created a program able to detect the various changes in the color palate from a simple picture—no matter how poor the lighting is!

With a photograph, we are able to detect potentially harmful diseases like E. coli, Hepatitis A, Botulism, and Salmonella with 63.6 percent accuracy!

Less than 64 percent accurate!? That’s not great . . .

When you consider that the human eye has 9 percent efficiency at recognizing tainted food, 64 percent is pretty good! But PotLUCK is about more than just taking a picture!

For only $29.99, you can also order our patented Food Wand™ (available for iOS and Android). Similar to a meat thermometer, the Food Wand plugs directly into your phone’s headphone jack and can be inserted into food to send important temperature information and bio-scans of dubious dishes.

With the Food Wand™, PotLUCK app accuracy is as high as 90 percent!

Sign your church up for the PotLUCK program

The PotLUCK church program from echurch helps you identify congregants who regularly bring questionable food and offers them valuable training to help them become better (and safer) cooks.

When you sign your church up for the PotLUCK program, we will send you 4,000 cotton swabs, plastic bags, and return envelopes. When the cotton swabs are received, simply swab the tongue or inner cheek of every congregant, their family, and household pets. Put each swab in an individual plastic bag labeled with the name of the subject, and place in an envelop with the rest of that family’s swabs and return them to the PotLUCK laboratories.

When a future casserole comes up as questionable, PotLUCK will run a DNA scan of information from your Food Wand. That information is then cross checked against the people in your church database until a match is made. When we have identified the guilty party, they’re given a demerit. After three demerits, we will send their case file and an intervention script to church leadership in order to get them help.

With PotLUCK, you’re bringing accountability into the twenty-first century.

Sign your church up with PotLUCK before June 1, 2016 and you’ll receive a 35 percent discount on your first year—and 3,000 extra swabs. Share this announcement post now, and we’ll send your church a package of six Food Wands!

Don’t miss out on future versions of PotLUCK

By Spring, 2017, PotLUCK will be updated to recognize potential allergens! With a photograph and a scan we’ll you’ll know if a dish includes nuts, gluten, dairy, or other potential trouble substances.


Download PotLuck app today!

Download the PotLUCK app today, and sign up your church for the PotLUCK program. And use the app’s event registration tool to invite your neighbors to your next (completely safe) potluck!

Do your church family a favor, and share this post with them.

*We would like to dedicate PotLUCK app to the brave men and women who suffered profoundly during the testing phase. They are the true heroes.

Jayson D. Bradley

Jayson D. Bradley is a writer and pastor in Bellingham, WA. He’s a regular contributor to Relevant Magazine, and his blog has been voted one of the 25 Christian blogs you should be reading.

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Showing 17 comments
  • Brian H

    April fools days (please tell me this is a joke)

  • James Dennis

    Please tell me this is an April Fool’s joke. This app was no doubt made by kids who never made a mud pie and think Kanye is not an idiot. Grow up! Eat the green beans and be thankful you have something to eat.

    • Kanye

      Potluck is something only a creative genius such as myself would understand. I’m looking forward to the upcoming merger with Tidal.

  • please.

    Please no April Fools Jokes. Just no

  • Pastor Mike Hancock

    Don’t waste your time, this app doesn’t work!I found a package of frozen hot dogs in the church refrigerator with a “use by” date of November 2013. This app gave it a thumbs up, safe to eat Emoji. Sorry, can’t trust it!

    • Jayson D. Bradley

      Pastor Mike,

      Thank you for the comment. Did you remember to take the hot dogs out of the package? Did you get the picture in the right light? We have had some problem with hot dogs and sausages in beta testing. There are so many unknown ingredients that our image technology has a hard time applying the correct algorithm.

  • Lynn

    April Fool’s, right? Hilarious!

  • Jon Manna

    I only looked at the image in the email and thought that a “Potluck app” might be a cool ide (tell people what to bring, etc..) …that was before I realized today’s date! Laughing now!!!

  • Mark Hollywood

    Planning to share this widely. Thanks for a great laugh. Very creative. Wanted to download the app just for the fun of it but didn’t want to look like a noob.

  • Bob Moon

    This POT LUCK app IS an April’s fool joke, right???

  • Melinda

    April Fools!!!! This can’t be real.

  • George N

    HaHA! It actually had my attention, until I read the part where it told other people in the line to avoid the dish… Then the pastoral side of me began to worry about the church split about to happen!

    Great job!

  • Peter Hawkswell

    We are a small church who want to grow not necessary in numbers but in spirit

  • Shenelle

    Lol I so wish this is real lol

  • Pastor April1

    Thank you for this app! The quilters were debating whether they should dispose of the cake from Alma’s funeral as it has only been 5 weeks, the frosting was still pretty, and after all, it had been refrigerated since the week after the service. Then one of the ladies opened the app on her smartphone, and voila! the decision was crystal clear. The cake and pie icons made it simple enough for anyone to use. Our only suggestion is that the “Pastor Made the Hot Dish” category be adjusted to give a slightly more positive response than “Replace immediately with potato chips or Oreos”.

  • Sam Hager

    Well played!

  • David

    Just believable enough… and.. an app that could actually be worth its price in gold 😉
    Well played!

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