Food warnings now also via smartphone app and push

Food warnings now also via smartphone app and push

Until now, the federal and state governments have grouped recalls and warning messages on lebensmittelwarning.de, and continue to do so. But now the Internet portal has received a branch in the application stores and, many years after its launch, its appearance and functions have also been completely renewed. The federal and state governments invested 700,000 euros in the relaunch.

“Reports can be found even faster and easier,” says Friedel Cramer, the federal government’s top consumer advocate. “And in the app, consumers can be automatically informed about new public announcements anytime, anywhere using the push function.”

More warnings

The number of warnings has increased in recent years. State consumer advocates attribute this to better testing methods and more open-minded manufacturers who would rather issue recalls than endanger or alienate customers.

The highlight of the new app is the push function, which aims to spread warnings more quickly. “The warnings are reaching a lot more people, and that’s a very good thing,” Cramer said. This can also be important for allergy sufferers. The warning portal also contains information about the allergens that appear in the products.

Contact the manufacturer

Anyone who has been warned can immediately alert others to a new danger via social media. All still valid warnings can be searched and found in the app and on the Internet, sorted and filtered, for example by food or cosmetics.

Anyone who has already purchased a product being warned about can use the app to contact both the manufacturer and authorities directly.

How fast is it going?

The consumer organization Foodwatch, which unlike Stiftung Warentest was not involved in the development of the app, welcomes the innovations. After the presentation, its activist Dario Sarmadi still had doubts about the pace and was at the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety responsible.

The question is whether “processes have become faster internally” at the authority, Sarmadi said. For some reports, five to seven days elapse between the company’s report and the official warning.

Time can still be gained or lost in this part of the alert chain: between manufacturers and the regulatory authority. The question remains how quickly warnings will reach supermarket customers on their mobile phones in the future.

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