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    JBS USA recalls beef stew meat

    The product may be contaminated with plastic and metal pieces

    JBS USA Food Company of Cactus, Texas, is recalling approximately 4,702 pounds of beef stew meat.

    The product may be contaminated with foreign matter – specifically pieces of plastic and metal.

    There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

    The following items, produced on December 13, 2017, are being recalled:

    • Cases containing six 5-lb. bulk cryovac plastic bags containing fresh beef stew meat intended for HEB grocery store retailer re-package. The affected case code is 69404.
    • Re-packaged various weight beef stew meat trays that also contain separately wrapped vegetables. The meat trays are marked with establishment 7231 on the side of the tray.
    • Re-packaged various weight beef stew labeled as HEB brand: Beef Stew Meat Tenderized RP, Beef Stew Meat RP, Beef Stew Meat VP, Beef Stew Meat-CR VP, Beef Stew Meat Tenderized VP, Beef Stew Meat CP, and Beef Stew Kit.

    The recalled products, bearing establishment number “EST. 3D” next to the USDA mark of inspection or Est. 7231 on the side of the tray, were shipped to HEB retail stores in Texas.

    What to do

    Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Cameron Bruett at (970) 506-7801.

    JBS USA Food Company of Cactus, Texas, is recalling approximately 4,702 pounds of beef stew meat.The product may be contaminated with foreign matter –...

    American Honda recalls portable generators

    The carburetor can leak gasoline, posing fire and burn hazards

    American Honda Motor Company of Torrance, Calif., is recalling about 34,000 Honda portable generators.

    The carburetor can leak gasoline, posing fire and burn hazards.

    The company has received 38 reports of fuel leakage from the generators. No fires or injuries have been reported.

    This recall involves Honda portable gasoline generators with model numbers EB2800i and EG2800i with a red front cover and a black metal frame.

    The EB2800i has a silver-colored control panel and the EG2800i has a black-colored control panel. “HONDA” and the generator model number are printed on the control panel.

    The serial number is located on a lower black metal frame towards the rear of the generator.

    The following model numbers, serial numbers and production date ranges are included in this recall:

    Model

    Serial Number Range

    Production Date Range

    EB2800i

    EAAA -1000037 thru 1015421

    2016/07/31 -2017/09/19

    EG2800i

    EABA -2000047 thru 2020152

    2016/07/29 -2017/09/20

     

    The generators, manufactured in the U.S., were sold at authorized Honda Power Equipment dealers and Home Depot stores nationwide from September 2016, through November 2017, for about $1,150.

    What to do

    Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled generators and contact a local authorized Honda Power Equipment service dealer to schedule a free inspection and repair.

    Consumers may contact American Honda toll-free at 888-888-3139 from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday or online at https://powerequipment.honda.com/ and click on “Recalls and Updates” at the bottom of the page for more information.

    American Honda Motor Company of Torrance, Calif., is recalling about 34,000 Honda portable generators.The carburetor can leak gasoline, posing fire and...

    Despite recent success, retail faces questions in 2018

    Holiday spending records may still be too little too late to save brick-and-mortar retail

    On Wall Street, December surprised investors with a surge in stock prices for brick-and-mortar retailers.

    After all, 2017 was the year of the "retail apocalypse," when legacy retail names were expected to fall by the wayside as Amazon took an ever-larger slice of the pie.

    With early reports suggesting holiday sales this year set a record, some analysts say there may be new hope for retailers like Macy's, Target, and Kohl's–although opinion remains divided heading into 2018.

    In the face of Amazon's juggernaut, savvy retailers spent much of the year reinventing themselves.

    Stores become destinations

    No longer are stores just places to display merchandise. They have become destinations, a gathering place where consumers might shop and also take a class in photography, learn how to code, or get a music lesson.

    "Companies are embracing new ways of doing business, STORES Magazine editor Susan Reda said in an interview. "They're re-engineering how they connect with customers."

    In other words, they are providing an experience that consumers can't get from a purely online retailer. Reda, whose magazine is published by the National Retail Federation, says traditional retailers appear to be in the midst of a major transformation.

    "We're seeing them blend digital and physical experiences, they're deploying new technologies, they're testing alternative payment options, and creating experiences consumers are returning for," she said.

    Still endangered

    But there are skeptics. CNBC reports analysts are pointing to department stores, in particular, as endangered.

    Not only are department stores having to reinvent themselves in a time of transmission, many are dealing with large amounts of debt. Analysts say that will create stiffer headwinds as these companies try to adapt to new market realities.

    The increased competition also reduces these companies' pricing power, which benefits consumers. Consumers also have more choices in how they access products. In fact, consumers may find the changes taking place in retail provide them with the best of both worlds.

    If they are in a hurry they can find the best price and purchase it online. But if they are interested in an experience as well as a product, brick-and-mortar stores that have successfully transformed themselves might not only survive, but prosper.

    "Every industry goes through a period of change," Reda said. "It's what you come out the other end looking like that's important, and we're looking like a really strong industry going forward."

    On Wall Street, December surprised investors with a surge in stock prices for brick-and-mortar retailers.After all, 2017 was the year of the "retail ap...

    Nodine's Smokehouse recalls smoked salmon

    The product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

    Nodine's Smokehouse of Torrington, Conn., is recalling smoked salmon that maybe contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

    No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

    The recalled product, which comes in 1.5-lb. and 8-oz packages with lot numbers 40173 and 33173, was sold nationwide in retail stores and through mail orders.

    What to do

    Customers who purchased the recalled product should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

    Consumers with questions may contact Nodine's Smokehouse at 1-800-222-2059, Monday through Friday, from 9 am – 4 pm.

    Nodine's Smokehouse of Torrington, Conn., is recalling smoked salmon that maybe contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.No illnesses have been reporte...

    Nearly 1.5 million Ram trucks recalled

    The vehicles’ gear-shifters may inadvertently move out of the “park” position

    Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling an estimated 1.48 million trucks in the U.S. equipped with shifters mounted on their steering columns.

    Occupants can inadvertently move the vehicles’ gear-shifters out of the “park” position.

    If the Brake Transmission Shift Interlock (BTSI) becomes disabled, a vehicle’s shifter may be moved out of park without brake-pedal application, or the presence of a key in the ignition.

    Chrysler says it is aware of seven potentially related injuries and a small number of potentially related accidents.

    The following vehicles are being recalled:

    • 2010-2017 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups;
    • 2011-2017 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs;
    • 2016-2017 Ram 3500 chassis cabs with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of less than 10,000 lbs; and
    • 2009-2017 Ram 1500 pickups.

    In addition, an estimated 249,520 of these vehicles in Canada, 42,747 in Mexico and 14,950 in markets outside the NAFTA region are being recalled.

    All model-year 2017 trucks built after December 31, 2016, are excluded.

    What to do

    Chrysler will advise owners when they may schedule service, at which time the company will restore BTSI function in the recalled vehicles.

    Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403.

    Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling an estimated 1.48 million trucks in the U.S. equipped with shifters mounted on their steering columns.Occupants can...

    Fresh Pak recalls sliced apple products

    The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

    Fresh Pak of Detroit, Mich., is recalling red/green apple slices supplied by Jack Brown Produce.

    The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

    No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

    The following items, which come in 2.2, 2.5, 9, and 7-oz. bags and/or plastic packages as well as 3-lb. Bags, are being recalled:

    Item DescriptionBrand NameLot NumberUPCUse BY Range:
    3lb Bag Dice Red ApplesNone312544, 312807NoneDec 29‐ Jan 2
    3lb Bag Slice Red ApplesNone312542NoneDec 28‐ Jan 1
    (5/2.2oz) Slice Apple Bags in clamshellsMichigan Apples‐ Aunt Mid’s312547, 3128067122817430Dec 28‐ Jan 1
    (5/2.5oz) Slice Apples w/ grapes bags in clamshellsAunt Mid’s3125467122817431Dec 31
    9oz Slice Apples ContainerFresh Pak Inc312447, 312537, 
    312666, 312780, 
    312943
    7122817686Dec 17‐21
    9oz Mix (red/green) Slice Apples ContainerFresh Pak Inc312448, 312538, 
    312781, 312944, 312667
    7122817687Dec 17‐21
    7oz Fruit and cheese SnacksNone312422, 312511, 
    312641, 312755, 312918
    7122817684Dec 17‐21

    The recalled products were sold in retail stores and through distributors in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

    What to do

    Customers who purchased the recalled products should discard them or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

    Consumers with questions or concerns may contact Josue Cortez at (313) 841-7911 Mon-Fri 7am-2pm (ET).

    Fresh Pak of Detroit, Mich., is recalling red/green apple slices supplied by Jack Brown Produce.The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocyto...

    RZR XP 4 Turbo ROVs recalled

    Fuel to leak, posing a fire hazard

    Polaris Industries of Medina, Minn., is recalling 560 Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo ROVs.

    The return fuel line can be improperly secured which can cause fuel to leak, posing a fire hazard.

    The company has received one report of a fire resulting from an improperly installed return fuel line. No injuries have been reported.

    This recall involves Polaris model year 2018 RZR XP 4 Turbo recreational off-highway vehicle (ROVs) with seating for four.

    “POLARIS” is printed on the front grill, “DOHC TURBO” and “EPS” on the front fenders, “POLARIS RZR XP” on the rear fenders, “POLARIS” along the bottom edge of the passenger compartment, and “POLARIS” on the rear light assembly.

    The VIN is printed on the right rear frame of the vehicle.

    Polaris Model Year 2018 RZR

    Model Year

    Model Number

    Model

    2018

    Z18VFE92BB

    RZR XP 4 TURBO EPS 168 VELOCITY BLUE

    2018

    Z18VFE92BS

    RZR XP 4 TURBO EPS 168 MATTE SUNSET RED

    2018

    Z18VFE92BU

    RZR XP 4 TURBO EPS 168 GHOST GRAY

    The ROVs, manufactured in Mexico, were sold at Polaris dealers nationwide from September 2017, through October 2017, for between $22,500 and $25,500.

    What to do

    Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ROVs and contact a Polaris dealer for a free inspection and repair. Polaris is contacting all known purchasers directly.

    Consumers may contact Polaris at 800-765-2747 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CT) Monday through Friday or online at www.polaris.com and click on “Off Road Safety Recalls” for more information.

    In addition, consumers can check vehicle identification numbers (VIN) on the “Product Safety Recalls” page to see if their vehicle is included in any recalls.

    Consumers who have had this repair done should check their VIN on the “Product Safety Recalls” page to confirm their vehicle’s repair status.

    Polaris Industries of Medina, Minn., is recalling 560 Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo ROVs.The return fuel line can be improperly secured which can cause fuel t...

    Meijer recalls fresh packaged products containing apples

    The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

    Meijer is recalling select Meijer brand packaged products as sliced apples within the products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

    No known illnesses have reported to date in connection with this recall.

    The following items, sold in plastic containers with printed labels and include “sell by” range of December 17, 2017 through December 21, 2017, are being recalled:

    Product DescriptionUPC

    Meijer Michigan Harvest

    Salad – 10 oz.

    708820

    684003

    Meijer Sharable Waldorf

    Salad – 16 oz.

    713733

    538640

    Meijer Fresh Cranberry Apple

    Stuffing Starter – 18.9 oz.

    719283

    379771

    The recalled products were sold in Meijer stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

    What to do

    Customers should stop using the product and either dispose of it, or return it to the customer service desk at any Meijer store for a full refund.

    Consumers with questions may contact Meijer at (800) 543-3704, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

    Meijer is recalling select Meijer brand packaged products as sliced apples within the products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.No known...

    Texas Meat Packers recalls ground beef

    The products contain soy, an allergen not declared on the label

    Texas Meat Packers of Fort Worth, Texas, is recalling approximately 7,570 pounds of ground beef.

    The products contain soy, an allergen not declared on the label.

    There are no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

    The following raw, frozen items, produced on September 28, 2017. are being recalled:

    • 40-lb. cases containing four 10-lb. bags of “85/15 Ground Beef Bulk” with item code 4013 and Patterson Food Processors printed on the label.
    • 10-lb. cases containing two 5-lb. bags of “85/15 Ground Beef Bulk” with item code 4012 and Patterson Food Processors printed on the label.

    The recalled products, bearing establishment number “EST. 34715” inside the USDA mark of inspection, were shipped to a distributor and institutional locations in Texas.

    The problem was discovered when FSIS received a complaint from a school about the product’s packaging. FSIS laboratory testing confirmed that the product contained soy and added water.

    What to do

    Customers who purchased the recalled products not consume them, but throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.

    Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Shane Fresh at (817) 546-3561 ext. 207. 

    Texas Meat Packers of Fort Worth, Texas, is recalling approximately 7,570 pounds of ground beef.The products contain soy, an allergen not declared on t...

    Helping others is especially beneficial to teens, study finds

    Researchers say teens who help strangers have more confidence

    A new study suggests that teens who carve out time to help others may develop higher levels of self-esteem.

    Researchers from Brigham Young University (BYU) say that’s because selfless and serving behaviors are particularly valuable to young people who are working on establishing their identities.

    In an interview with ConsumerAffairs, study author and professor Laura Padilla-Walker explained that prosocial behavior (such as helping, sharing, and comforting) helps adolescents build self-esteem -- but only when exhibited toward strangers.

    Building moral identity

    The researchers found that helping others was associated with higher levels of self-esteem that lasted even a year later.. However, the same effect was not seen when teens solely helped friends and family members.

    “This suggests that helping others they do not know might help teens to feel more confident in who they are and what they are capable of,” Padilla-Walker said. “Being of help to others can help a young person who feels insignificant with peers, for example, to recognize that they have something to contribute.”

    Padilla-Walker says that if helping strangers becomes a regular part of teens’ behavior, it’s more likely to “solidify as part of their moral identity and then be associated with lifelong service.”

    “Also, teenagers are sometimes accused of being egocentric or self-centered. Helping those less fortunate helps to combat the tendency toward self-centeredness in all of us.”

    High quality helping

    Padilla-Walker says that past studies have also found that helping strangers protects teenagers from risky behaviors like drinking and drug use. The key to reaping these benefits in teens, she says, is to participate in high-quality helping.

    “Just shelving books at the library might not be as meaningful as working in a soup kitchen where they can see the benefit of their helping,” she said. “That being said, there are ways to help that suit all personality types and that would likely result in similar benefits.”

    Websites like justserve.org have ideas for how teens or families can get involved in community service in their area during the holiday season and throughout the year.

    The full study has been published online in the Journal of Adolescence.

    A new study suggests that teens who carve out time to help others may develop higher levels of self-esteem.Researchers from Brigham Young University (B...

    Retail job losses are mostly falling on women

    Employment analysis shows more men in retail as women exit

    A new report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) finds the staggering job losses in the retail sector in recent years have mostly fallen on women.

    Month after month the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports on job losses and gains, usually showing a net increase in new jobs as some sectors add jobs and others reduce them.

    In a 12-month period, from October 2016 to October 2017, the retail sector has shed about 54,300 jobs, leading some economists to call it a "retail apocalypse." Drilling deeper into the numbers, however, IWPR finds that men are actually gaining jobs in retail while women account for nearly all the job losses.

    During that 12-month period, the IWPR study found women lost 160,300 retail jobs while men gained 106,000 jobs in the category.

    'Segregated into more vulnerable jobs'

    IWPR says the reason for this gender disparity isn't clear. But Emma Williams-Baron, a research assistant at IWPR, has a theory.

    "It could be that women are segregated into jobs more vulnerable to larger economic forces, like automation and online retail," she told ConsumerAffairs. "That may affect workers like cashiers and department store clerks more directly, while men are in better-insulated jobs, like appliance and furniture sales."

    Another factor could be the types of retail businesses that have been most severely affected. When a department store closes down, Williams-Baron says its lower-wage employees and salespeople are disproportionately women.

    But not all retail is suffering. Home center stores are booming and their employees tend to be men.

    The IWPR study found that most retail job losses have come at general merchandising stores where men have actually increased their job numbers in recent years.

    "I do think this connects to online retailing, which targets types of items more similar to those sold by general merchandise stores than, say, building material and garden supply stores or gasoline stations," Williams-Baron said.

    General merchandise stores take the biggest hit

    She notes that general merchandise stores make up the biggest retail segment, and while they have suffered the greatest job losses, they still have the largest number of workers than any other retail category.

    Because more women work in general merchandise stores than any other type of retailer, when this category looses jobs -- as it has during the study period -- its victims tend to be women.

    There's also the possibility that women are leaving retail for greener pastures. Women may be moving from retail jobs into other fields, such as healthcare, which has shown dramatic job growth.

    Williams-Baron says one takeaway for women entering the job market is to focus their efforts where jobs are increasing and opportunities are greater.

    "Many retail positions are characterized by instability and poor job quality overall, so those who can avoid retail jobs are likely better off," she said.

    A new report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) finds the staggering job losses in the retail sector in recent years have mostly fallen on...

    Model year 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport vehicles

    The side curtain airbags may not deploy properly

    Hyundai Motor America is recalling 1,201 model year 2018 Santa Fe Sport vehicles.

    The side curtain airbags on these vehicles have a component that may detach during deployment of the inflatable curtain air bag.

    If the component detaches during deployment, the curtain air bag may not inflate properly during a crash, increasing the risk of injury. Additionally, if the detached component were to enter the vehicle occupant compartment, there could be an increased risk of occupant injury.

    What to do

    Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver and passenger side curtain air bags, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin February 9, 2018.

    Owners may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-671-3059. Hyundai's number for this recall is 171.

    Hyundai Motor America is recalling 1,201 model year 2018 Santa Fe Sport vehicles.The side curtain airbags on these vehicles have a component that may d...

    More consumers prepare for 2018 with New Year's resolutions

    One expert reveals tips for how to achieve your goals

    A recent poll revealed that more than a quarter of Americans (29 percent) plan to make New Year’s resolutions for the year ahead -- a slight increase from 2016.

    Researchers from Saint Leo University found that traditional New Year’s resolutions held steady, with top responses being: lose weight (55 percent), save more money (56 percent), travel more (29 percent); and spend more time with family (26 percent).

    A small number of respondents (4.4 percent) said they want to spend less time with family in 2018 -- up from last year’s response of 0.4 percent. Vacationing more and finding a new job also ranked in the top five resolutions with 29 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

    “On the whole, the top resolutions found on the poll all reflect a desire toward self/life improvement with saving money and more time with family also being big winners,” Dr. Christopher Wolfe, associate professor of psychology at Saint Leo University, told ConsumerAffairs.

    Age differences

    The poll also revealed a few demographic differences when it came to New Year’s resolutions. Millennials were more likely to make resolutions that would help them improve their life and health in the coming year compared to Gen Xers.

    Almost half of millennial respondents (49 percent) plan to make resolutions, while only 31 percent of those in the 36 to 55 age group will do so; just 16 percent of those in the 56+ age demographic said they will make New Year’s resolutions.

    Positive change

    While younger consumers may be more likely than their older counterparts to make resolutions, the reason for creating New Year’s resolutions tends to be the same across all age groups.

    People make resolutions in an effort to create positive change in their life, Wolfe says. Resolutions “can act as a sign post, a benchmark, or even a line in the sand; from a static point, this change can begin,” he said.

    “We are often so wrapped up in our day-to-day routine that the thought of change can be daunting,” he added. “But as one year gives way to the next, we take the opportunity to set out a goal and try to embrace a desired change in ourselves.”

    Tips for keeping resolutions

    To improve your likelihood of sticking to resolutions, it’s important to try to see them as a beginning point -- “not an ultimatum or a race,” says Wolfe.

    Setting small goals and embracing the fact that you may occasionally fail at keeping them can make sticking to resolutions seem less daunting.

    “As our bad habits took time to set in, these new patterns of change will also take time to take hold and for real results be seen,” Wolfe said. Embracing this mindset towards resolutions can help ensure you don’t abandon your goals at the first sign of a setback.

    Wolfe recommends focusing on small victories that support your resolution to help you stay motivated. It can also be helpful to take note of obstacles that you experience along the way..

    “Look for triggers that may distract you from keeping your resolution and consider writing them down. Keep a small notebook of these triggers and add to it as you experience them,” he said. “The acts of writing them down and carrying the reminder may help to curb these triggers over time.”

    A recent poll revealed that more than a quarter of Americans (29 percent) plan to make New Year’s resolutions for the year ahead -- a slight increase from...

    Ford supersedes previous recall for model year 2004-2006 Ford Rangers

    Excessive internal pressure may cause the driver side front airbag to rupture

    Ford Motor Company is superseding a previous recall for 361,523 2004-2006 Ford Ranger trucks to implement a final repair.

    Upon deployment of the driver side front airbag, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture with metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants potentially resulting in serious injury or death.

    What to do

    Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver's front airbag inflator with an alternate inflator, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin December 26, 2017, and will be launched in phases through the end of March 2018.

    Vehicles that received a replacement air bag inflator under the previous recall need to be returned to a dealer to have an alternate inflator installed.

    Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 17S42. 

    Ford Motor Company is superseding a previous recall for 361,523 2004-2006 Ford Ranger trucks to implement a final repair.Upon deployment of the driver...

    BMW recalls model year 2018 X series vehicles

    The wishbone suspension bolts are improperly torqued

    BMW of North America is recalling 33 model year 2018 BMW X5 SAV, X5 M SAV, X6 SAV, and X6 M SAV vehicles.

    Bolts that secure the front suspension may not have been tightened properly.

    Loose bolts can affect the performance of the suspension, increasing the risk of a crash.

    What to do

    BMW will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and tighten the wishbone suspension bolts, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin January 8, 2018.

    Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.

    BMW of North America is recalling 33 model year 2018 BMW X5 SAV, X5 M SAV, X6 SAV, and X6 M SAV vehicles.Bolts that secure the front suspension may not...

    Springfield Smoked Fish expands smoked fish recall

    The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

    Springfield Smoked Fish of Springfield, Mass., is expanding its earlier recall of smoked fish products that have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

    The initial recall was limited to 1-lb pre-sliced Nova Salmon produced on November 24,17.

    The recall expansion includes product produced between May 22, 2017, and December 12, 2017, the date production of the products ended.

    No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

    The following items, sold under the brand names Springfield Smoked Fish and Rachael’s Springfield Smoked Fish, are being recalled:

    Product DescriptionSizesLot #'sUPC#
    Smoked Salmon - all species4 oz.15171 through 45172045049113342, 045049113250, 045049113359
    8 oz.045049113083, 045049113274, 045049113304
    1 lb.045049112086, 811907018018
    5lb.045049112079
    1 1/4.lbn/a
    3 lb.045049150613, 045049111065
    Sliced sides (catch weight)n/a
    unsliced sides (catch weight)n/a
    trimmings/chips045049113212
    wings and bellies045049111256
    ground/spreadable045049113236, 045049112413
    Whitefish Meat5 lb. bag 18171 through 43171045049117111
    Belly Lox 4 oz. and sliced sides13171 through 33171045049113311
    Smoked Chubs Catch weight34171 through 46171n/a
    Smoked Bluefish Catch weight34171045049117357
    Smoked Trout 6 oz.17171 through 42171045049117258
    Smoked Whole Whitefish Catch weight17171 through 46171n/a
    Smoked Sable Catch weight20171 through 33171n/a
    Kippered Salmon Catch weights22171 through 41171045049117012
    Hot Smoked Salmon SteaksCatch weights43471n/a
    Smoked Whitefish Spread 8 oz. & 4lb25171 through 46171045049117432
      25171 through 46171045049117418
    Cream Cheese Spreads8 oz. & 5lbUse by 12/15/17  through 2/9/18 
    Spreadable Plain045049117708
    Lox045049117760
    Scallion045049117746
    Veggie045049117739
    Strawberry045049117784
    Hot and Spicy045049117920
    Whitefish Salad8 oz. & 5lbuse by 12/15/17 through 2/9/18045049117425
    045049117425

    Boston Salads - Private Label

    Scallion Cream Cheese Spread 5lbuse by 12/15/17 through 2/9/18611140151721
    Veggie Cream Cheese Spread5lbuse by 12/15/17 through 2/9/18611140151714

    The recalled products were distributed and sold at retail stores and wholesale establishments in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania and online from May 2017, through December 2017.

    What to do

    Customers who purchased the recalled products should not consume them, but return them may to the place of purchase for a refund or discard them.

    Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-413-737-8693, Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.

    Springfield Smoked Fish of Springfield, Mass., is expanding its earlier recall of smoked fish products that have the potential to be contaminated with List...

    Safe holiday travel for families

    Tips for protecting your most precious cargo during holiday travel

    With more travelers expected to hit the road this holiday season, it’s especially important for families with young children to consider safety when traveling. 

    Traveling with children requires extra vigilance and a few added safety precautions, children’s safety experts say.

    In order to keep kids safe and healthy, parents and caregivers should take steps to eliminate potential threats to children’s safety, both in the car and at the homes of friends and relatives.

    Car seat safety

    If you are traveling with young children, it’s critical to make sure your car seat is installed correctly. Use this checklist or ask a certified child passenger safety technician to double check your work. 

    Make sure kids are buckled into their car seat correctly, taking into account the fact that some winter apparel can hinder the effectiveness of car seat harnesses. 

    Bulky winter coats and clothes can prevent a snug fit of the car seat harness. To keep kids safe, experts recommend opting for a thinner coat and providing kids with a blanket to cover their lap once they are buckled in.

    If you will be traveling via train or plane, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends making sure kids ride in an age-appropriate car seat or booster seat. Older children who no longer require car seats should always wear a seat belt, the group noted.

    Avoid distractions

    Holiday traffic and crowds can heighten stress levels and lead to distracted driving. When traveling with kids, staying focused on the road and avoiding distractions is crucial.

    “No text message or playlist is worth the risk of taking your eyes off the road. Set your GPS to voice activated so you can concentrate on driving without having to look at your phone,” Lorrie Walker, training manager and technical advisor for the Safe Kids Buckle Up program, told ConsumerAffairs.

    It’s also important to watch out for distracted drivers and pedestrians, especially while driving in parking lots that are busier than usual during the holidays, says Walker.

    Watch kids around household dangers

    You’ve likely taken steps to childproof your own home, but family and friends without kids may not have childproofed homes. Be sure any dangerous items in homes you may be visiting this holiday season are secured or moved to a place where kids cannot access them.

    Potential dangers include:

    • Unlocked cabinets. Make sure kids don’t get into unlocked cabinets, which may contain cleaners and medications. Unattended purses can also contain hazardous items.
    • Laundry rooms. Cleaning products or detergent pods that are left out can be dangerous to a child.
    • Stairs. Stairways and hot radiators can also pose risks to kids while they are staying in an unfamiliar place, the AAP says.

    Be prepared for an unforeseen emergency by having a laminated list of key phone numbers, such as the police and fire departments, your pediatrician, and the national Poison Help Line (1-800-222-1222). The AAP recommends providing this list to babysitters or relatives who may be supervising children.

    With more travelers expected to hit the road this holiday season, it’s especially important for families with young children to consider safety when travel...

    VW subsidiary investing in electric vehicle charging stations

    Move aimed at making electric vehicles more practical for consumers

    Volkswagen subsidiary Electrify America said it plans to install more than 2,800 electric vehicle (EV) recharge stations in the U.S. by June 2019.

    The recharge stations will go into residential and workplace locations, addressing one of the most pressing issues facing EVs -- keeping their batteries charged. Current EV models are limited to a range of around 200 miles or less, though Tesla recently unveiled a prototype roadster with a range of 600 miles.

    Unlike hybrids, that have a small gasoline engine that recharges the battery while the vehicle is being driven, EVs rely solely on an electric battery. Akshay Anand, analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said Electrify America's announcement is significant for the future of electric cars.

    “One of the main hurdles automakers have faced in getting consumers to jump into electric vehicles has been accessibility of charging stations," Anand told ConsumerAffairs. "Volkswagen is one of the first big automakers to announce large-scale charging station plans, and the hope is that this causes a ripple effect for other OEMs."

    Faster charging speeds

    The 2,800 charging stations will be at about 500 sites, meaning all sites will be able to charge several EVs at a time. Because the stations use what is known as a Level 2 protocol, charging speed will be a little faster than normal.

    With every hour of being plugged into a Level 2 charging station, a vehicle should gain 20 to 25 miles of driving range. Because the charging stations will go into residential and commercial areas, EV owners will be able to charge their vehicles while they are at work or asleep at home at night.

    “One of the biggest barriers to the mass-market adoption of electric vehicles is access to chargers,” Mark McNabb, CEO of Electrify America, said in a statement. “Having chargers where people work – and live – will help them see that an electric vehicle can be their primary vehicle because charging is convenient and reliable at the places where they spend time.”

    Mostly at workplace locations

    McNabb says three quarters of the charging stations will be installed at workplace sites, since that's generally where consumers would have their cars parked for the longest period of time. Residential installations will be built at apartment buildings, condos, and other high-density housing developments.

    Despite the popularity of specific EV models like the Tesla Model S, EVs have been slow to catch on in the U.S. As of last December, cumulative sales totaled around 570,000. Anand says investments like the one VW’s subsidiary is making could change that.

    "Coupled with expanding range and more EV segment accessibility, actions like this one could be catalysts for electric being successful sooner rather than later,” he said.

    Volkswagen subsidiary Electrify America said it plans to install more than 2,800 electric vehicle (EV) recharge stations in the U.S. by June 2019.The r...

    Model year 2018 Ford Escapes recalled

    The side curtain airbags may not deploy properly

    Ford Motor Company is recalling 10,157 model year 2018 Ford Escapes.

    The vehicles' side curtain airbags have a component that may detach during deployment of the inflatable curtain air bag.

    If the component detaches during deployment, it may enter the passenger compartment and be a projectile within the vehicle cabin, increasing the risk of injury.

    What to do

    Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver and passenger side curtain air bags, as necessary, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin January 29, 2018.

    Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 17S44.

    Ford Motor Company is recalling 10,157 model year 2018 Ford Escapes.The vehicles' side curtain airbags have a component that may detach during deployme...

    Jack Brown Produce recalls Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious apples

    The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

    Jack Brown Produce of Sparta, Mich., is recalling Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious apples.

    The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

    The following products, sold or distributed under the brand name "Apple Ridge," are being recalled:

    Honeycrisp apples in two-pound clear plastic bags;

    • Gala, Fuji, and Golden Delicious apples in 3-pound clear plastic bags;
    • Fuji and Gala apples in 5-pound red-netted mesh bags; and
    • Gala, Fuji and Honeycrisp apples that were tray-packed/individually sold.

    The products can be identified by the following lot numbers printed on the bag label and/or bag-closure clip:

    • Fuji: NOI 163, 165, 167, 169, 174
    • Honeycrisp: NOI 159, 160, 173 Golden Delicious: NOI 168
    • Gala: NOI 164, 166 on either the product labels and/or bag-closure clip.

    The recalled apples were processed and shipped by Nyblad Orchards from December 11 through December 16, 2017, and distributed through retail stores in Michigan, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio.

    What to do

    Customers who purchased the recalled products should destroy them and contact Jack Brown Produce for a full refund.

    Consumers with questions may contact Lisa Ingalls at 616-887-9568 Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET).

    Jack Brown Produce of Sparta, Mich., is recalling Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious apples.The products may be contaminated with Listeria mon...

    Model year 2012-2014 Audi A6s and A7s recalled

    The fuel line has a compression point that can weaken

    Volkswagen Group of America is recalling 48,693 model year 2012-2014 Audi A6s and A7s.

    The fuel line has a compression point that can weaken, potentially resulting in a fuel leak.

    A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source, increases the risk of a fire.

    What to do

    Audi will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel line, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin February 5, 2018.

    Owners may contact Audi customer service at 1-888-237-2834. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 20AR.

    Volkswagen Group of America is recalling 48,693 model year 2012-2014 Audi A6s and A7s.The fuel line has a compression point that can weaken, potentiall...

    Women appear to be closing pay gap in Los Angeles -- until you look at race

    Gender and pay disparities are persisting in the United States

    Stories of the abuse that women face in the workforce have dominated headlines in 2017. Even with the #MeToo movement and Merriam-Webster’s naming "Feminism” the 2017 Word of the Year, working women continue facing barriers to equal treatment, as a recent analysis of the gender pay gap suggests.

    The American Association of Women (AAUW), an advocacy group that studies employment issues that affect women and minorities, recently published a report investigating the best and worst cities for women’s pay.

    In Los Angeles–the country’s second largest metropolitan area–the average woman earns 90 cents on the dollar for every man. That 10 percent pay gap amounts to $4,800 annually, the narrowest gap between men and women for the largest metropolitan areas in the country, according to new research by AAUW. 

    But broken down by race, the relatively progressive pay difference of Los Angeles vanishes. Compared to white men, white women in Los Angeles earned just 77 cents on the dollar. Latina women, who make up nearly half of Los Angeles County’s female population, make a mere 39 cents on the dollar for every white man.

    “Part of what's happening is that white men in Los Angeles are making a lot more money than men overall,”  Kevin Miller, senior research director at AAUW, tells ConsumerAffairs.

    Miller analyzed how women’s pay stacked up with men overall and specifically white men in 25 major metropolitan areas. He found that Los Angeles has the narrowest gap between overall male and female pay. But Los Angeles looks similar to other cities once face is factored.

    Meanwhile, women in Detroit fare the worst of major U.S. metropolitan centers, earning an average of 75 cents on the dollar earned by their male counterparts. But Asian American women in Detroit are out-earning white males by two percent, making them the only demographic the researchers found that actually out-earned white men.

    Race and gender pay gaps

    Miller’s report states that no city is immune from the gender pay gap, even or especially when factoring in race. In addition to gender discrimination, minority women are also vulnerable to racial discrimination in the workforce, a collection of past research has indicated.

    But socio-economic factors in Los Angeles and elsewhere also indicate that white women simply have better access to decent-paying jobs.

    "White women are substantially more likely than Latinas to go to college and complete a college degree,” Miller points out.

    State legislators and numerous studies highlight how lack of access to a college degree, bolstered by the ballooning cost of tuition, is a major factor keeping young people of both genders or any ethnicity out of the workforce.   

    With numerous structural barriers in place, it may seem intimidating to look for a job. But Miller has some advice for women on the hunt: get out of rural areas. More opportunities remain in the cities, despite salary disparities there.

    "The good jobs [in rural areas] that are available tend to be sort of reserved for men still,” he says.

    As 2017 comes to a close, women’s issues have dominated headlines–for both positive and negative reasons....

    Holiday travelers could face weather uncertainty and canceled flights

    But gasoline prices should be a little lower

    A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the holidays, according to AAA, with many at the mercy of unpredictable winter weather and unanticipated technical mishaps, like the one that struck Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport on Sunday.

    The airport, one of the busiest in the nation, suffered a total power failure that prevented any planes from landing or taking off for hours. Power has now been restored, but airlines warn that residual effects could linger for days.

    In a statement, Delta Airlines said it cancelled 1,000 flights on Sunday and has already scratched 300 from today's scheduled flights.

    Weather could also be an issue for travelers later in the week. AccuWeather predicts a pattern of rain, sleet, and snow across the middle portion of the nation by midweek, stretching from Texas to Maine.

    Making things even more uncertain, a huge number of travelers will be trying to get somewhere during the holidays. More than 107 million Americans are expected to travel by air, rail, or car from Dec. 23 through Jan. 1, according to the AAA forecast.

    If that proves to be the case, it could be a record for the holiday period and a 3.1 percent increase over last year.

    Most of holiday travel will be by car

    While airports will be more crowded than usual, AAA expects most travelers will be on the nation's highways.

    AAA used INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, to estimate that 97.4 million Americans will be traveling by car, leading to longer-than-normal travel time due to traffic volume. Slightly lower gasoline prices, however, may ease some of that pain.

    Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at Gasbuddy, expects to see fuel prices ease slightly during the holiday period, helped by downward pressure on oil prices. But motorists in some areas of the country may encounter price volatility.

    "The Great Lakes -- Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois -- all generally see large movements both down and up, something we call price cycling, so they may get a pinch or two before the end of the year as that constant cycle plays out,” DeHaan told ConsumerAffairs.

    Falling gasoline demand

    DeHaan also says overall gasoline demand has finally weakened after a strong early Autumn. That, he says, is finally allowing gasoline inventories to recover after hurricane season.

    A recent Energy Information Administration (EIA) report showed nationwide gasoline stocks have grown in each of the past five weeks – a new trend for the year that bodes well for motorists. Over this time period, the report found gasoline stocks increased by roughly 17 million barrels, with 5.7 million barrels accumulating in just the previous week.

    AAA's Fuel Gauge Survey shows the national average price of regular gas is around $2.43 a gallon, down three cents from a week ago and 12 cents lower than a month ago. However, that price is still 20 cents a gallon higher than this time last year.

    Holiday travelers will find the cheapest gasoline at stations in Missouri, where the current statewide average for regular is around $2.17 a gallon. The most expensive gas in the continental U.S. is in California, where the statewide average is around $3.09 a gallon.

    INRIX predicts the busiest days on U.S. highways will be Wednesday, Dec. 20 and Thursday, Dec. 21 and will occur in major urban areas, where holiday travelers will mix with normal commuter traffic.

    A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the holidays, according to AAA, with many at the mercy of unpredictable winter weather and unantic...

    Piller's Fine Foods recalls ready-to-eat salami and prosciutto

    The products may be contaminated with Salmonella

    Piller’s Fine Foods of Waterloo, Canada, is recalling approximately 1,076 pounds of ready-to-eat salami and Speck prosciutto.

    The products may be contaminated with Salmonella.

    There are no confirmed reports of illness due to consumption of these products.

    The following items, produced in Canada on Sept. 22 and Oct. 12, 2017, are being recalled:

    • Vacuum-sealed random weight plastic packages containing “Black Kassel Piller’s Dry Aged D’Amour Salami” with Best Before date of May 12, 2018
    • Vacuum-sealed random weight plastic packages containing “Black Kassel Piller’s Dry Aged Speck Smoked Prosciutto” with Best Before date of May 12, 2018.

    The recalled products were shipped to distribution centers in California, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and New York.

    What to do

    Customers who purchased the recalled products should not consume them, but throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.

    Consumers with questions regarding the recall may contact Trent Hilpert at (519) 743-1412 ext. 240.

    Piller’s Fine Foods of Waterloo, Canada, is recalling approximately 1,076 pounds of ready-to-eat salami and Speck prosciutto.The products may be contam...

    Chrysler recalls various vehicles with electrical issue

    The alternator may fail suddenly

    Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling 17,116 model year 2014 Dodge Challengers, Chargers, Durangos, Chrysler 300s, and Jeep Grand Cherokees equipped with a 3.6L engine and a 160 amp alternator.

    The alternator may fail suddenly, causing the vehicle to stall without warning, increasing the risk of a crash.

    What to do

    Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the alternator, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin January 10, 2018.

    Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is T75.

    Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling 17,116 model year 2014 Dodge Challengers, Chargers, Durangos, Chrysler 300s, and Jeep Grand Cherokees equipped with a 3....

    Feminism gains new ground with Word of the Year selection

    From marches to media, Merriam-Webster recognizes a renewed focus on women

    Merriam-Webster just announced “feminism” as its 2017 Word of the Year. 

    The dictionary publisher has been issuing a list of 10 words that are important or highly-searched during the year since 2003. Other words on this year’s list include complicit, recuse and empathy. 

    What is feminism? 

    The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines feminism as, “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes,” but it hasn’t always had that meaning. 

    When the word first showed up in the dictionary in 1841, “feminism” described “the qualities of females.” Feminism was first used in the modern sense in 1895, during the first wave of the political movement the word now describes. 

    Since then, the feminist movement has advocated for women’s rights, such as the right to vote and participate fully in government. The movement also works to advance women’s place in society and to eliminate gender stereotypes that affect women’s careers, legal recourse, health care and more.

    Why this year? 

    If this word has been used for well over 100 years, what made it so important in 2017? 

    Many people “think of feminism as a dated movement, because women have achieved so many of our goals and have more freedoms than our predecessors,” says Dr. Jennifer Fuller, Assistant Lecturer of English at Idaho State University at Idaho Falls. 

    But this year, many people have come to terms with the fact that the movement is contemporary and ongoing, instead of something relegated to the past. Internet searches for the word spiked at times when its meaning was in question. 

    As these fights happened on the public stage and were increasingly shared and re-shared on social media, internet searches for the word increased.  

    2017 events involving feminism

    Google data shows a spike in searches for feminism during and after the Women’s March, a human rights march which took place on January 21, 2017. While some saw it as a strong showing of female political power and solidarity, others disagreed with its core assertion that women are still treated unequally.

    The term had another spike in February when Kellyanne Conway, a top aide in Donald Trump’s administration, said she did not identify as a feminist and identified feminism as being “anti-male.” 

    However, as HuffPost contributor Mycah Hazel observed, Conway speaks and writes about women's issues (such as unequal pay), showing that she is a proponent of many ideals considered to be feminist.

    Searches spiked around the releases of Hulu’s series “The Handmaid’s Tale” in April, and the film “Wonder Woman” in June. Both stories highlight questions about female agency within society, and women’s roles in the modern world. 

    In June alone, Google shows nearly 20 million searches for “is Wonder Woman feminist.” 

    More recently, spikes occurred around breaking stories of sexual assault and harassment by powerful male figures such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Al Franken. TIME magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year was the collective group of “the silence breakers”; women who broke their silence as victims of sexual harassment, some of whom used the social media hashtag #MeToo. 

    Why does this matter? 

    Merriam-Webster’s choice of feminism as the 2017 Word of the Year reminds us that words–and their expanding definitions in the context of societal change–have a great deal of power. 

    Why is it important to 20 million people if Wonder Woman is a feminist? 

    “Feminism isn't just in the big fights,” Fuller says. “It’s also in the daily things that we continue to say to girls and women. As #MeToo showed, women are still facing issues on a daily basis. Now as well as in the past, feminism is our way of calling back that we can and must continue to point out problems as we see them."

    Merriam-Webster just announced “feminism” as its 2017 Word of the Year. The dictionary publisher has been issuing a list of 10 words that are important...

    Springfield Smoked Fish recalls smoked salmon

    The product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

    Springfield Smoked Fish of Springfield, Mass., is recalling Prescliced Nova Salmon that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

    No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

    The recalled packages were distributed to customers in Rhode Island and Connecticut through retail stores.

    The recalled product, which comes comes in a 1-lb., clear plastic package marked with lot # 42173 on the back, an expiration date of 12/22/17 and the UPC 811907018018, was sold in retail stores in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

    Production has been suspended pending the outcome of an FDA investigation.

    What to do

    Customers who purchased the recalled product should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

    Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-413-737-8693 Monday through Friday, 8 am – 5 pm.

    Springfield Smoked Fish of Springfield, Mass., is recalling Prescliced Nova Salmon that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.No illnesses ha...

    Dream On Me recalls crib & toddler bed mattresses

    The mattresses fail to meet the mandatory federal flammability standard

    Dream On Me of Piscataway, N.J., is recalling about 23,400 crib and toddler bed mattresses.

    The mattresses fail to meet the mandatory federal flammability standard for mattresses, posing a fire hazard.

    No incidents or injuries have been reported.

    This recall involves Dream On Me spring and foam mattresses for cribs and toddler beds. The recalled mattresses were sold in a variety of colors and prints.

    The following model numbers and dates of manufacture are printed on a tag on the top center of the mattress:

    Mattress

    Color/Print

    Model

    Date of Manufacture Range

    Évolur Sleep Ultra Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress

    white

    849

    between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

     

     

    Évolur Sleep Deluxe Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress

    white

    850

    between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016.

     

    Sweet Dreams 6” 88 Coil Spring Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress in Blue

    white with blue clouds

    87

    between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

     

     

    88 Coil Inner Spring Standard Crib & Toddler Mattress

     

    white

    88

    between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

     

     

    Visco Pedic Innerspring Standard Mattress in Blue star

     

    blue star

    150V_1

    between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

     

    Convoluted Orthopedic Inner Spring Standard Crib & Toddler Mattress

    white print

    150C

    between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

     

    Firm Foam Crib and Toddler bed mattress

    white print

    6E6WL

    between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

     

    5" Foam Crib & Toddler Bed Quilted Standard Mattress

    quilted bear print

    5B5

    between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016.

     

    5” Round Foam Crib Mattress

    white

    42R

    between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016.

     

    5" Thick Round Crib Mattress

    white

    40R1

    between January 1, 2016 and December 19, 2016

    The mattresses, manufactured in the U.S., were sold at Amazon.com, Kohls.com, ToyRUs.com, Walmart.com and Wayfair.com from January 2016, through December 2016, for between $40 and $90.

    What to do

    Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled mattresses and contact Dream On Me to receive a free mattress cover to bring the mattress into compliance with the federal flammability standard.

    Consumers may contact Dream On Me toll-free at 877-201-4317 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday or online at www.dreamonme.com and click on “Customer Care” for more information.

    Dream On Me of Piscataway, N.J., is recalling about 23,400 crib and toddler bed mattresses.The mattresses fail to meet the mandatory federal flammabili...

    Airbag issue prompts recall of model year 2018 Jeep Compasses

    The passenger side air bag assembly may have loose inflator mounting nuts

    Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling 26,971 model year 2018 Jeep Compasses.

    The passenger side air bag assembly may have loose inflator mounting nuts within the module assembly.

    In the event of a crash necessitating air bag deployment, unsecured inflator mounting nuts outside of the cushion assembly are potential projectiles that may strike the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.

    What to do

    Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger air bag module assembly, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin January 10, 2018.

    Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is T73.

    Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling 26,971 model year 2018 Jeep Compasses.The passenger side air bag assembly may have loose inflator mounting nuts with...

    Ford recalls model year 2016 F-150s and Explorers

    The front seat occupant may not be properly restrained in a crash

    Ford Motor Company is recalling 177,264 model year 2016 F-150s and Explorers.

    Loose power seat adjuster pivot bolts may cause the front seat cushions to detach and not properly restrain the seat occupant in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of an injury.

    What to do

    Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the tightness of the power seat track upper pivot link bolt, either applying threadlocker or replacing the lift link and hardware, free of charge.

    Interim letters are expected to go out January 15, 2018, and a second notice will be sent when the remedy becomes available.

    Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 17S40.

    Ford Motor Company is recalling 177,264 model year 2016 F-150s and Explorers.Loose power seat adjuster pivot bolts may cause the front seat cushions to...

    Santa Fe Importers recalls pork salami

    The product may contain metal shavings

    Santa Fe Importers of Long Beach, Calif., is recalling approximately 143 pounds of pork salami that may be contaminated with extraneous materials -- specifically metal shavings.

    There are no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

    The following item, produced on Aug. 3, 2017, is being recalled:

    • 3.5 to 4.0-lbs. random weight of plastic wrapped packages of “MARISA PREMIUM QUALITY GENOA SALAMI ITALIAN BRAND,” with a packaging date of Sept. 14, 2017 and a lot code of 257-100161 in the upper right hand corner.

    The recalled product, bearing establishment number “EST. 4118” inside the USDA mark of inspection, was shipped to retail locations in California.

    What to do

    Customers who purchased the recalled product should not consume it, but throw it away or return it to the place of purchase.

    Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Vincent Passanisi at (562) 437-7775. 

    Santa Fe Importers of Long Beach, Calif., is recalling approximately 143 pounds of pork salami that may be contaminated with extraneous materials -- specif...

    Nearly 400k model year 2013-2014 Hyundai Elantra sedans, coupes and GTs recalled

    The brake light switch plunger may not retract when the brake pedal is not being pressed

    Hyundai Motor Company is recalling 390,467 model year 2013-2014 Elantra sedans, coupes and GTs.

    The brake pedal stopper pad can deteriorate allowing the brake light switch plunger to remain extended when the brake pedal is released. This will allow the brake lights to remain illuminated continuously. It can also allow the shift lever to be moved without depressing the brake pedal, or activate the engine management brake pedal override feature.

    If the brake light switch plunger does not retract as it should when the brake pedal is not being pressed, the brake lights may stay illuminated preventing accurate communication to following vehicles that the vehicle is slowing or stopping.

    Additionally, if the brake switch plunger is not retracted, the transmission can be shifted out of PARK without depressing the brake pedal. Either condition increases the risk of a crash.

    What to do

    Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will replace the brake pedal stopper pad, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin February 8, 2018. Owners may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-800-633-5151. Hyundai's number for this recall is 170. 

    Hyundai Motor Company is recalling 390,467 model year 2013-2014 Elantra sedans, coupes and GTs.The brake pedal stopper pad can deteriorate allowing the...

    Online orders may hit record highs this holiday season

    Stores are increasing last minute imports and shippers are working overtime

    Key indicators and trends suggest consumers are spending more this holiday season and businesses are working harder to deliver.

    The Kansas City Star reports an Amazon fulfillment center recently opened in Kansas City, Kan., is straining under the load of orders. Some employees at the center have reportedly been working under mandatory overtime hours.

    United Parcel Service (UPS) warned last week that some deliveries may be delayed by a day or two because of the crush of online orders it is carrying. The company said holiday shipments are expected to rise five percent this holiday season, to 750 million packages.

    Additional numbers provided by the Global Port Tracker in a report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates the seven busiest months for imports should finish out 2017 with a 6.4 percent increase over 2016.

    Strong demand

    Craig Shearman, a spokesman for NRF, says these shipment and import spikes suggest retailers are restocking their inventories because of strong demand from holiday shoppers.

    "What we see in terms of cargo coming through the ports is evidence of strong sales because retailers aren't going to import cargo unless they think they can sell it," Shearman told ConsumerAffairs. "They're not importing this on speculation. If they're bring in more merchandise, they think they have a demand for it."

    NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold sees plenty of signs of a strong holiday season for retailers, in part because news about potential tax cuts has made consumers more optimistic about the economy.

    Shipping deadlines

    For consumers still doing their Christmas shopping, finding the item you want and getting it delivered on time may be issues. Amazon has issued a list of shipping deadlines for delivery by Christmas, and the free shipping window closes Friday.

    Here are the remaining Amazon shipping deadlines:

    • December 18 - Standard Shipping
    • December 22 - Two-Day Shipping (Free with Prime)
    • December 23 - One-Day Shipping (In select cities)
    • December 24, 9:30 a.m. local time or earlier - Same-Day Delivery (In select cities)
    • December 24, 9:45 p.m. local time or earlier - Two-Hour Delivery (In select cities)

    As delivery companies strain under the heightened demand, some consumers might hesitate to rely on those deadlines. Shearman says brick and mortar stores could reap the benefit.

    "If it's Christmas weekend, a brick and mortar store is probably going to be your more reliable bet because it's right there, you can see what's in stock, and you can grab it and go,” he said.

    Key indicators and trends suggest consumers are spending more this holiday season and businesses are working harder to deliver.The Kansas City Star rep...

    The financial advantages of moving during winter

    Consumers can find attractive deals and discounts during the colder, off-peak months

    While spring and summer are typically regarded as prime seasons for moving, relocating during winter has benefits for those on a tight budget.

    Since moving during winter isn’t a popular idea, buyers (and renters) can enjoy less market competition and seasonal price drops across many areas pertaining to moving. 

    "Moving during certain times of the year can result in significant savings, and the winter is one of those times," Mike Keaton, senior director of communications for the American Moving & Storage Association, tells ConsumerAffairs. 

    "Most moves happen during the late spring and summer months, so moving companies have greater capacity and more flexibility on moving dates during the off-season. They’re often able to offer bigger discounts during these times when they’re less busy." 

    Financial breaks

    Although you might have to bundle up on moving day, moving during cold weather has its advantages -- namely, lower moving costs.

    Due to decreased demand, most moving companies tend to charge less in late fall and winter. Companies often lower their rates by as much as 30 percent compared to the peak summer months, according to moving industry consultant Vasilka Atanasova.

    “We do generally see slower rent growth and often even a seasonal price drop in the winter months. This year, our national rent index has fallen by 0.1 percent in each of the past three months, and rents have decreased over the past month in 66 of the nation's 100 largest cities,” Sydney Bennet, senior research associate at ApartmentList.com, told ConsumerAffairs.

    She says that’s a big change from the spring and summer months, noting that those seasons are “the busiest time of the year for renters to move.”

    In the winter, consumers are also more likely to encounter motivated sellers who are willing to negotiate on various aspects of a move, such as selling price and even what household appliances and items are included in the sale.

    For those who plan to rent a new home or apartment, moving during winter may also pay off in the form of lease specials. For example, some property management companies may lower the rent or offer a month or two of free rent in an effort to fill vacancies. Many of these deals tend to pop up in February and March, since they are slower months for the rental industry.

    Top cities for job seekers

    Between saving for a downpayment and footing the bill for moving costs, leaving one residence for another can be an expensive endeavor.

    To help offset the cost of moving, it can be beneficial to consider putting down roots in a city with a strong job market and/or relatively high average annual salary. A batch of recent studies highlight a few cities that have been ranked highly by young job seekers.

    • Austin, Texas. Millennials have been flocking to Austin for years, perhaps due to the city’s booming job market. A recent study by LinkedIn showed there are 23,000+ jobs in Austin. The most popular industries include IT and Services, Computer Software, and Internet.

    • Richmond, Va. Richmond constantly ranks on the US News & World Report list of the Best Places to Live. Millennials tend to thrive in this city thanks to affordable housing costs and a strong job market (just 4 percent unemployment for their age group).

    • Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Recent data shows there are 21,000+ jobs available in the Raleigh-Durham area. Raleigh also boasts strong job growth and a high quality of life, making it an ideal place for millennials to call home.

    • Nashville, Tenn. In a recent study, Nashville ranked as the best place for millennial job seekers in the state of Tennessee. The city is rife with job opportunities and has a median annual salary of $40,353.

    • Miami, Fla. Miami took the top spot on Indeed.com’s 2017 list of best cities for job-seekers. The career site evaluated 50 metropolitan areas in the U.S. and found Miami scored high across four different metrics: work/life balance, salary compared to cost of living, job postings (weighted to interest), and job security/advancement.

    While spring and summer are typically regarded as prime seasons for moving, relocating during winter has benefits for those on a tight budget.Since mov...

    Mercedes-Benz recalls 72 model year 2017 E and S class vehicles

    The power steering system could become disabled

    Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) is recalling 72 model year 2017 E300, S65 AMG Coupe, S550, S65 AMG Cabriolet, S550 Cabriolet, S550e, S65 AMG, and Mercedes-Maybach S600 vehicles.

    A transistor within the power steering control unit may overheat resulting in the power steering system being disabled, increasing the risk of a crash.

    What to do

    MBUSA will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the steering rack, replace it as necessary, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin in January 2018.

    Owners may contact MBUSA customer service at 1-877-496-3691.

    Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) is recalling 72 model year 2017 E300, S65 AMG Coupe, S550, S65 AMG Cabriolet, S550 Cabriolet, S550e, S65 AMG, and Mercedes-Maybac...

    Westinghouse portable generators recalled

    The generators can overheat, posing a fire hazard

    MWE Investments of Columbus, Ohio, is recalling about 4,500 Westinghouse portable inverter generators.

    The generators can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

    The company has received four reports of the recalled generators overheating and catching on fire. No injuries have been reported.

    This recall involves Westinghouse iGen2500 and iPro2500 portable inverter generators used to power appliances, cell phones or other electronic devices.

    The iGen2500 has a bright blue plastic cover and has “Westinghouse iGen2500” printed in white lettering on the side and on the front of the generator.

    The Westinghouse iPro2500 has a plastic gray cover. “Westinghouse iPro2500” is printed in white lettering on the side and front of the generator. The number of watts is also printed on the side. It reads 2200 Running Watts and 2500 Peak Watts.

    The generators measure about 20 inches long by 18 wide inches by 11 inches tall and weigh about 49 pounds.

    The generators, manufactured in China, were sold exclusively online at Amazon.com, apelectricgenerators.com, Climate Right.com, Homedepot.com, Houzz.com, Menards.com, PowerEquipmentDirect.com, and Walmart.com from June 2017, through October 2017, for between $580 and $600.

    What to do

    Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled generators and contact MWE Investments to arrange for a free repair.

    Consumers may contact MWE Investments toll-free at 855-944-3571 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday, by email at info@wpowereq.com, or online at www.westinghouseportablepower.com and click on “Product Safety” at the top of the page.

    MWE Investments of Columbus, Ohio, is recalling about 4,500 Westinghouse portable inverter generators.The generators can overheat, posing a fire hazard...

    Chrysler recalls model year 2017-2018 Jeep Compasses

    The brightness of the backlighting for the Instrument Panel Cluster cannot be adjusted

    Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling 25,823 model year 2017-2018 Jeep Compasses. The brightness of the backlighting for the Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC) cannot be adjusted.

    These vehicles, therefore, fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 101, "Controls and Displays."

    An instrument cluster that is too bright, and cannot be dimmed, can reduce the driver's ability to see at night, increasing the risk of a crash.

    What to do

    Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will update IPC software, as necessary, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin January 10, 2018.

    Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is T70.

    Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling 25,823 model year 2017-2018 Jeep Compasses. The brightness of the backlighting for the Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC) ca...

    Survey finds employment 'mistakes' are common and costly

    Expert says bringing the wrong person on board can be bad for morale

    Congratulations on landing that new job -- unfortunately, there’s a likely chance your employer will consider this move a mistake.

    A new survey from CareerBuilder underscores a dilemma facing hiring managers -- making sure the person being hired is a good fit. When they aren't, it gets very expensive. Their survey estimates 74 percent of employers have hired the wrong person for the job, at an average cost of $14,900.

    “There are a number of reasons you could end up with a bad hire. Something that often stands out is a flawed interview process,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, told ConsumerAffairs.

    “You’ll end up in trouble down the road if you don’t have a standard protocol for interviews, ask the wrong questions, don’t articulate the company culture or job requirements, and don’t evaluate the interview.”

    When hiring managers do make a mistake, Haefner says it can have a “ripple effect.” She points out that disengagement can be contagious and urges hiring managers to implement proper screening procedures so that they can identify the best candidates for the job. That requires an understanding of the job and what it entails.

    "Poor performers lower the bar for other workers on their teams, and their bad habits spread throughout the organization," she said.

    Where mistakes happen

    The survey identified where the hiring process often runs into trouble. Among hiring managers, 35 percent admitted hiring someone without the required experience or skills because they believed "they could learn quickly."

    Nearly a third of hiring managers said they "took a chance on a nice person." Nearly as many said they looked too closely at the applicant's skills and and not closely enough at the applicant's attitude.

    Mistakes or poor matches aren’t exclusive to hiring managers; job applicants also admit to regretting offers they accepted. Survey results showed two out of three people say they have taken a job offer and then later realized it wasn't right for them.

    Half of that group said they quit their new job within six months, forcing them to start the job hunting process all over again.

    However, more than a third said they stayed on the job in spite of their dissatisfaction, citing a “toxic work culture” and disparities between their job description and actual work as the main reasons for disappointment.

    Avoiding job mistakes

    Haefner says hiring managers can avoid mistakes by conducting a pre-interview by telephone. “In just a few minutes, you can get a decent read on a candidate,” she said.

    Haefner says job applicants can also do their part to avoid a bad situation for both the organization and themselves by making sure the job and organization fit their interests and values.

    You can start by researching the organization, backgrounds of key executives, and a detailed job description. A preliminary step might include taking a career aptitude test. Team Technology offers one on its website.

    Congratulations on landing that new job -- unfortunately, there’s a likely chance your employer will consider this move a mistake.A new survey from Car...

    Most credit card users rack up debt to meet basic expenses

    Survey reveals trend that personal finance expert calls 'disturbing'

    A new survey of consumers who carry chronic balances on their credit cards shows much of their spending is on basic daily needs–making ends meet.

    The research from credit card site CompareCards.com found 42 percent of consumers in the survey group reported their shortage of cash at the end of the month was a significant driver in running up debt.

    Aside from gasoline and groceries, consumers reported that emergency expenses such as car repairs and medical care went on credit cards because money was not available.

    Bruce McClary, a vice president at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, which represents non-profit credit counselors, says the survey should raise some warning flags.

    'Disturbing'

    "What I find disturbing about this survey is that it shows consumers are rolling over more than $5,000 in balances from month to month, coupled with the fact that much of that debt–some 42 percent–is related to simply making ends meet, covering expenses that would ordinarily have been covered using cash," McClary told ConsumerAffairs.

    The survey focused on reasons for credit card debt and the stress that it causes among consumers. Millennials are more likely than older consumers to feel stress, yet baby boomers are having a harder time than millennials paying off their debt.

    Also disturbing, the survey found about 28 percent of consumers had two or more credit cards with a balance they can't pay off in full.

    "We are clearly in a trend where more people are falling behind on their credit card payments and people are carrying larger balances," McClary said. "That combination can be very dangerous."

    The survey can be subject to different interpretations. Despite a soaring stock market and improving job market, a sizable group of consumers may still be struggling financially.

    At the same time, McClary says some consumers with job security may have become too comfortable with debt over the last few years and are now in over their heads. He says it's easy to do.

    Long term costs

    "Consumers should think about the long term costs of the things they're buying on credit, he said. "If their credit card is simply charging them the average interest rate, which right now is around 16 percent, you can be adding a lot to the cost of the item you're buying."

    McClary cites the example of carrying a $1,000 balance and paying the minimum $25 a month at 16 percent APR. At that rate, he says consumers would pay an additional $400 by the time they paid off the balance.

    It might be difficult, but McClary says consumers struggling with credit card debt can turn it around.

    "In my 20 years of non-profit credit counseling I have always found that there is the possibility of finding room in the budget for savings," McClary said. It's just a matter of where you look and how hard you're willing to work to make those adjustments."

    For help, he suggests contacting a non-profit credit counselor. While some consumers may have little or no discretionary spending that can be cut, a credit counselor can suggest tactical moves that can save money on existing financial obligations.

    A new survey of consumers who carry chronic balances on their credit cards shows much of their spending is on basic daily needs–making ends meet.The re...

    Nissan recalls model year 2016 Rogues

    The front passenger seat frames may be improperly welded

    Nissan North America is recalling 210 model year 2016 Rogues.

    The vehicles have front passenger seat frames that may be improperly welded.

    As such, they vehicles fail to meet performance requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 202a, "Head Restraints" and FMVSS 207, "Seating Systems."

    In the event of a crash, the improperly welded seat back frames may increase the risk of injury.

    What to do

    Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front passenger seat back assembly, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin January 08, 2018.

    Owners may contact Nissan customer service at 1-800-647-7261.

    Nissan North America is recalling 210 model year 2016 Rogues.The vehicles have front passenger seat frames that may be improperly welded.As such, t...

    Caesar's Pasta recalls beef meatballs

    The products contain egg, an allergen not declared on the label

    Caesar's Pasta of Blackwood, N.J., is recalling approximately 46,810 pounds of beef meatballs.

    The products contain egg, an allergen not declared on the label.

    There are no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

    The following items, produced between November 1, 2015, and November 30, 2017, are being recalled:

    • 10-lb. boxes containing 0.5-oz. pieces of “Schiff's ITALIAN BRAND MEAT BALLS,” labeled with lot code 70033SH.
    • 10-lb. boxes containing 1-oz. pieces of “Schiff's ITALIAN BRAND MEAT BALLS,” labeled with lot code 70034SH.
    • 10-lb. boxes containing 1.5-oz. pieces of “Schiff's ITALIAN BRAND MEAT BALLS,” labeled with lot code 70035SH.

    The recalled products, bearing establishment number “EST. 5498” inside the USDA mark of inspection, were shipped to food service locations in Pennsylvania

    What to do

    Customers who purchased the recalled products should not consume them, but throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.

    Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Michael Crawford at (856) 227-2585, extension 226.

    Caesar's Pasta of Blackwood, N.J., is recalling approximately 46,810 pounds of beef meatballs.The products contain egg, an allergen not declared on the...

    Mercedes-Benz recalls model year 2016-2017 G-Series vehicles

    The engine may be unable to reduce power as needed

    Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) is recalling 8,043 model year 2016-2017 G550 4Matic, G63 AMG, and G65 AMG vehicles.

    A malfunction of the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), while Distronic Plus is engaged, may cause the engine to not reduce power, regardless of the vehicle's speed, driving situation or brake application.

    Increased braking effort and/or shifting to neutral would be needed to stop the vehicle, lengthening the distance needed to stop the vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash.

    What to do

    MBUSA will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the ESP control unit software, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin in December 2017.

    Owners may contact MBUSA customer service at 1-800-367-6372.

    Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) is recalling 8,043 model year 2016-2017 G550 4Matic, G63 AMG, and G65 AMG vehicles.A malfunction of the Electronic Stability...

    Model year 2018 Ram ProMasters recalled

    The standard supplemental side airbags may not deploy properly

    Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling 3,514 model year 2018 Ram ProMasters.

    An incorrect rivet may have been used to attach the front door impact sensor which can cause the sensor housing to fracture.

    A fractured sensor could affect the deployment of the standard supplemental side airbags during certain side impact crashes, increasing the risk of injury.

    What to do

    Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace both front door impact pressure sensors, securing them with the correct rivets, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin January 3, 2018.

    Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is T64.

    Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling 3,514 model year 2018 Ram ProMasters.An incorrect rivet may have been used to attach the front door impact sensor wh...

    Model year 2017-2018 GLC Mercedes-Benz vehicles recalled

    The fixed panoramic sun roof frontal and side plastic panels may separate

    Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) is recalling 9,379 model year 2017-2018 GLC300, GLC300 4Matic, and GLC43 AMG vehicles.

    The fixed panoramic sun roof frontal and side plastic panels may have insufficient bonding, allowing the panels to separate during vehicle operation.

    The sun roof panels detaching from the vehicle can increase the risk of a crash or injury for following traffic.

    What to do

    MBUSA will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the bonding on the sun roof panels, correcting it as necessary, free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin December 8, 2017.

    Owners may contact MBUSA customer service at 1-800-367-6372.

    Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) is recalling 9,379 model year 2017-2018 GLC300, GLC300 4Matic, and GLC43 AMG vehicles.The fixed panoramic sun roof frontal an...