Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Mobile phone app aids food safety and prevents food waste

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Mobile phone app aids food safety and prevents food waste
Australian government launches a mobile phone app which lists all food product recalls in real time.
In Use – Available in Australia from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Benefits
Product Waste Reduction, Other

Product Categories
Drinks, Food

Relevant Materials
Not Applicable

Relevant Packaging Formats
Not Applicable

Supply Chain Phase
Consumer, Retailing, Supply Chain handling systems and store replenishment

Details

The Australian government has recently launched a mobile phone app which enables consumers to check on any product recalls currently in force.  Whilst the App applies to a wide variety of products it has a specific section devoted to current food and drink recalls.
 
This will not only assit consumers to avoid recalled products but will also prevent consumers avoiding perfectly saleable products. For instance a recall on a particular batch of cheese might result in lost sales for the whole cheese category, leading to unnecessary product waste as unsold product passes its sell by data. By using the recall App consumers can make informed choices and this could prevent unnecessary food waste.
 
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

The specific focus of this technology is in informing consumers of recalled products.  Thus, the principal benefits of this is in food safety - allowing consumers to return or avoid recalled products which might have a safety issue. As a secondary benefit, consumers can choose alternative products with confidence.  There is evidence that consumers tend to avoid other products in a category where there is a recall in force and that this can result in lost sales and food wastage. This consumer information app should prevent unnecessary lost sales and resulting food waste for retailers.

Intellectual Property

The new App is available from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. 

Consultant View

Although the principal focus of this innovation is consumer safety there will be indirect environmental benefits as a result.There is evidence that during food scares consumers tend to avoid all products in a category rather than just the affected product. This results in lost sales and food wastage as product reaches the end of its shelf life without being purchased. The new system should help to prevent this sort of collateral damage.

Contacts and Further Information

Product Safety Hazard Response Branch
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
GPO Box 3131
CANBERRA ACT 2601

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