The Checkout

Archive: February 2008

Where's the beef addendum

I promised you the beef industry's thoughts on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's move to adopt a regulation that would allow it to release the names of retail establishments that received recalled meat. Dave Ray of the American Meat Institute was kind enough to send us something. You can read the group's comments here. The short version is AMI thinks releasing that information is a bad idea and that recalls are effective as they are. While we're on the subject of meat, I thought I'd mention that the USDA Office of Inspector General released a memo on USDA's sampling and...

By Annys Shin | February 27, 2008; 11:06 AM ET | Comments (4)

Where's the beef?

Since we got so many comments about the meat entry last week, I figured I'd take the opportunity to answer a question that I've been asked a lot lately. The question is: how can I tell if I bought meat that was part of the Feb. 17 Hallmark/Westland Meat Co. recall? The reason this is still being asked is because the initial recall notice didn't list the retail stores that may have sold the recalled meat or products that contain it. Instead, the recall notice lists things such as "Various weight boxes of Westland Meat Co., Ground Pork For Further...

By Annys Shin | February 26, 2008; 9:00 AM ET | Comments (13)

Your meat isn't sick. It's just non-ambulatory.

Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. record recall of 143.4 million pounds of raw and frozen beef products has sparked a bit of a debate over what it means to be sick. For those of you just tuning in, this California plant had to recall two year's worth of ground beef products after the Humane Society of the U.S. released an undercover video showing workers using a fork lift to shove cows who couldn't stand up into the slaughterhouse. A company spokesman told the Post that senior management didn't know about the inhumane practices. The USDA press operation has taken pains to...

By Annys Shin | February 19, 2008; 4:00 PM ET | Comments (119)

Getting Schooled on the Cost of College Textbooks

In the category of things that didn't make it into the paper but are sitting around in my head....A couple of weeks ago, I caught Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin--the Illinois Democrat-- speaking at a Consumer Federation of America conference. And the man was on fire. The subject? College textbooks. "It's a racket!" Durbin declared, referring to the high cost of college textbooks and the fact that students typically receive a pittance when they try to resell those textbooks back to university bookstores, which often have a cozy financial relationship with the schools. Well, Congress is on the case. Or...

By Annys Shin | February 19, 2008; 9:00 AM ET | Comments (20)

Buy Me Love

Before I get going today, I just wanted to say thanks for the warm welcome back! I really expected a welcoming party of crickets. And my father-in-law, Ted. (Hello, Ted!) And that's it. So it was a real surprise and delight to see folks writing in to say they kept The Checkout on their RSS feeds. (For those interested in the baby, she's great at everything but sleeping. The hub and I are resigned to the fact that our wills our weak--so weak!--and that our daughter can outscream us any night, but more on that some other time!) On to...

By Annys Shin | February 14, 2008; 9:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

Cutting Grocery Costs

Take a look at "OnParenting" today, where Stacey Garfinkle blogs about how to cut grocery costs. Any ideas for how to ratchet that ever increasing bill down?...

By | February 13, 2008; 1:00 PM ET | Comments (5)

Nothing Rhymes with Phthalates

Excuse the title. I'm a bit punchy this morning. Still recovering from nine days of single parenthood while the husband was off covering the Super Bowl. (Direct quote from the hub: "I'm surrounded by professional football players and half-naked women. It's terrible!") Despite my sleep deprived state, I managed to read Susan Morse's story in Health on a new study in the journal Pediatrics that found infants and toddlers who use shampoo and lotions were more likely to have higher concentrations of phthalates in their urine. Phthalates are the latest chemical boogey man on the block. They are used in...

By Annys Shin | February 7, 2008; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (0)

Check It Out

The Checkout is live once again after nearly a year's hiatus! If you're wondering how any self-respecting consumer blogger could go MIA for most of the Year of Recalls, I've got a good excuse: our daughter. She decided to arrive a week early as I was sitting in a jury box down at the Moultrie courthouse. (If you ever doubted the District of Columbia's eagerness for jurors, just ask the D.C. Superior Court judge who put a nearly nine-months pregnant woman on a jury for a trial that was supposed to last a week!) I've been back part time since...

By Annys Shin | February 7, 2008; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (0)


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