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Saturday, July 10, 2010

From Tires To Cereal, New Mobile App Helps Consumers Track Recalls

From Tires To Cereal, New Mobile App Helps Consumers Track Recalls

by April Fulton

NPR - July 6, 2010

Dog and now cat vitamins recalled due to salmonella.

A child's coin purse recalled because of concerns about lead.

Even Bridgestone tires for trucks and buses are on the recall track these days, not to mention the highly publicized SpaghettiOs' uh-oh and Kellogg's cereal recalls.

At the risk of getting what the Washington Post dubs "recall fatigue," how can you keep track of the ones you care about? There's now an app for that.

Instead of tracking down various websites, the new mobile app lets you see it all in one place, wherever you are.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Food and Drug Administration, and Department of Agriculture teamed up to create Recalls.gov.

It lets consumers search for products by brand name or category (i.e. car seats or pet food), see available photos, and even report potential problems with unsafe products.

"Alerting consumers quickly to food and product recall information through this technology can prevent untold illness and save lives," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in announcing the app, located on the newly-revamped GSA website.

But there's a catch -- a big one. You have to have a phone that uses the Android operating system.

Blackberry and iPhone apps are coming soon, the government says.

Meanwhile, you can see the lists of recent recalls across the participating agencies here. [Copyright 2010 National Public Radio]

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