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Dallas-based BellTower launches alert service for food recalls

By KAREN ROBINSON-JACOBS / The Dallas Morning News

(DALLAS) BellTower Technologies LLC, a Dallas-based emergency notification service, is launching a free program today to alert consumers by phone of food recalls.

Consumers can go to www.FoodAlert.org to register their telephone number to receive automated notices when a major food recall is issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture or other government agency.

There will also be alerts for some recalls launched by private food companies.

The new service arrives as many consumers and food sellers are still wary after recent recalls for spinach, tomatoes and beef.

Since May, there have been at least 10 food recalls issued by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, most of which were small enough to escape consumer notice.

To avoid inundating consumers, the service will send alerts only for national and major regional recalls, said Tim Klein, a founding partner of BellTower Technologies.

The phone calls will come within hours of a recall launch, he said.

BellTower Technologies has also provided a more sophisticated, paid notification service to restaurants and other food service companies since 2006, Mr. Klein said.

The company hopes the free service for consumers will boost interest in its commercial program, he said.

Consumers without Internet access can call 1-888-FOODALERT (1-888-366-3253) from the phone number they wish to register.

Telephone registration may not work for some office extensions.

The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service already allows consumers to register for recall notifications via e-mail.

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