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New mobile app tells users about product safety recalls

February 02, 2012|By David Colker
  • This fold-out bed has a problem (the legs break), which is how it made it on to the recalls.gov app for smartphones.
This fold-out bed has a problem (the legs break), which is how it made it on…

Have you ever been out shopping, looked at a product and wondered if it’s the subject of a government safety recall?

Me neither.

But just in case it comes up, there is now a federally sponsored app for that.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which operates the recalls.gov website that puts out warnings about recalled products, offers the app for free. It’s only for mobile devices that use the Android operating system -- no iPhone version yet.

Here’s how the site describes the app: “Whether you’re at your child’s day care center of a yard sale, whether you’re at a store or at home, you can now type a product’s name into your phone and learn immediately whether that product has been recalled because of a safety concern.”

It could come in handy if you're out shopping for, say, a fold-out bed and come across the Fold-Out Sleeper Ottoman made by the Perfect Generation World company. According to the commission, the product was recalled because “the welding joints on the legs can break, posing a fall hazard to consumers.”

Whew! Good to know beforehand.

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