Barcode Scanner Food Tracker with Web Interface for recipies

Hi Everyone.

I was just thinking it would be great to be able to scan any food we buy store it in a database (I was thinking on my raspberry pi) then with a web interface be able to see what food we have and also recipies by some sort of scraper depending on what we have available. One of the problems I could think of was that some items (especially fresh food )dont have barcodes but I suppose you could just have a card with barcodes for those things.

I have been searching but not found anything like this yet.

My question is, has someone already done this and if so are there detailed instructions with sketches and which hardware was used? 8)

You should lookup details of Smart Fridges to see how they have tackled the problem.

I think you will need a lot of discipline to use such a system as not only will you need to scan the food in, you will need to scan it out as it is used.

One practical problem that annoys me is that sometimes "use by" dates on food are on the removable part of packaging. Yoghurt springs to mind the date is often on the foil seal which you pull off and discard, not on the plastic re-use lid which you retain.

I guess... nobody has done a project like this, but it should be possible. An USB-scanner might be harder to read since you will need USB-host capabilities, but if you can find a PS/2 or serial scanner, those aren't hard to read with an arduino.

Standing in the kitchen a wireless scanner would seem easiest to use and with a little luck you could embedd an arduino + wireless module + batteries in a scanner. Perhaps you could also add a few buttons for extra functions like scanning what enters/leaves the pantry.

The Raspberry PI could do the rest.

It does seem a project in which you'll have to consider a lot of questions though. Fresh food one day becomes to old to be eaten. You'll need to address that problem in programming. If you buy stuff in 2-3 different stores, you may have to enter the same kind of product 2-3 times, perhaps even more if each store sells different brands in different volumes. Using a system like this requires that all people in the house accurately scan what comes in/goes out to prevent surprises. If a new barcode pops-up they'll also need to enter/categorize it correctly.

I guess your project is possible, but also guess it requires a lot of work to get/maintain a good system.