Following tweets from restaurant patrons could help monitoring food safety at dining establishments, say University of Rochester researchers.
Their system called 'nEmesis', aids "listening" to the tweets from other restaurant patrons in order to help people make decisions armed with proper information. Such tweets can also help caution people about a potential problem at a specific restaurant. It can also monitor food safety and support the conventional public health methods like restaurant inspections.
Reports of food poisoning symptoms following a restaurant visit can deter many others going to such places. The system is a blend of machine-learning and crowd sourcing techniques which is capable of analyzing millions of tweets to give specific information.
"The Twitter reports are not an exact indicator -- any individual case could well be due to factors unrelated to the restaurant meal -- but in aggregate the numbers are revealing," researchers said.
The system is able to spot visits to restaurants and match up where a person tweets from on a GPS-enabled mobile device that connects it to known locations of restaurants.