Consumers will soon have a mobile application, fueled by government recall data, at their fingertips to keep potentially unsafe products, from food to furniture to drugs, out of their homes.
The application, available as of midnight last night, is part of a wider effort to make the federal government more responsive and accessible to citizens. Government officials revamped USA.gov to make it more user-friendly and launched over a dozen mobile applications, aimed at allowing anyone to access government services and information on the go.
“Revamped with direct input from the public, USA.gov leverages cutting-edge technology to provide faster, easier, more innovative government services directly to the American people,” said Dave McClure, General Services Administration (GSA) Associate Administrator of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.
“Through mobile apps citizens can leverage government information to make decisions affecting their daily lives, whether checking airport wait times in line at the airport or scanning a bar code at their local store to check for food and product recalls,” said McClure.
The product recalls app incorporates current recall information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), as well as the Federal Highway Administration.
The mobile program allows limited barcode scanning (using a smartphone camera). The scanning feature is currently for recalls on the product side (think furniture and cars), but will soon also include drugs and food.
The initial launch includes 17 mobile applications, but officials at the General Services Administration (GSA), say they anticipate expanding the number.
GSA officials said in a release yesterday they welcome the public to share feedback on apps they would find useful by using government information available on data.gov and usaspending.gov.
The USA.gov mobile apps gallery features: Product Recalls, USPS Mobile App & Tools, MyTSA, USA.gov Mobile, NIH’s Mobile MedLine Plus and BMI calculator, EPA’s UV Index, USDA’s Foodipedia, NREL’s Alternative Fuel Station Locator and Fuel Economy.gov, DoS’ America.gov Mobile and U.S. Embassy Locator, EPA Mobile, FBI Most Wanted, FEMA Mobile, NASA App, and VA mobile.