Although I don’t have children, I worry when I’m near them. They’re always putting things in their mouths and then moving onto the next thing. My insides are screaming, “do you know where that’s been?!”
As an adult, we’ve know not to pick something off the ground and chew it. I used to believe it was common sense; however my cousin, a loving parent of four girls, reminded me “it’s common sense because one time you probably ate a worm, got really sick, then learned your lesson.”
But what if we thought it was clean and ate it anyways? Time and time again this happens. A product we think is safe causes sickness and in the worst cases death. We put entirely too much faith into the systems we think keep the products we use safe.
I’m typically guilty, claiming “the U.S. has so many regulations it has to be okay”. Man did I eat my words, but thankfully not spinach, during the 2006 spinach recall.
What’s in a recall?
A product recall, as defined by Wikipedia, is “a request to return to the maker a batch or an entire production run of a product due to the discovery of safety issues or a product defect.”
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They can be anything, starting with the poor toy designs, for example exploding bath bombs, to automobile makers failing at their jobs with the Toyota faulty pedals, and then scarily and unfortunately topped by the Tylenol scare in 1982.
These recalls, occasionally trivial, also have the potential to take lives especially children. In 2011, 12 children under the age of 12 passed away due to toys that were improperly produced then recalled too late. Many of these cases aren’t heard of until its national news.
One app, created by the enterprise software company SAP, is focused on keeping over 46,000 parents informed while the potential toy, juice box, or meal are still in the living room. The concept is to make tracking recalls easier on parents using an elegant user experience. After logging in, consumers can see the latest recalls, receive updates about on-going ones, and create “watch lists” about specific products for different ages. As well as discover if unknown allergens are in or have possibly contaminated the food your child eats.