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The high cost of cheap chicken

December 20, 2013 Comments off

The high cost of cheap chicken
Source: Consumer Reports

When you shop at your favorite grocery store, you probably assume that the food on display is safe to take home. But in the poultry aisle, that simple assumption could make you very sick. Consumer Reports’ recent analysis of more than 300 raw chicken breasts purchased at stores across the U.S. found potentially harmful bacteria lurking in almost all of the chicken, including organic brands. In fact, we were conducting our research when news of the national salmonella outbreak linked to three Foster Farms chicken plants became public. In that case 389 people were infected, and 40 percent of them were hospitalized, double the usual percentage in most outbreaks linked to salmonella. (Read about sustainable alternatives when it comes to raising chickens and watch our video on the use of antibiotics in animals.)

What’s going on with the nation’s most popular meat? (Americans buy an estimated 83 pounds per capita annually.) Though 48 million people fall sick every year from eating food tainted with salmonella, campylobacter, E. coli, and other contaminants, “more deaths were attributed to poultry than to any other commodity,” according to an analysis of outbreaks from 1998 through 2008 by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Here’s what you should know before buying your next package of chicken.

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The Affordable Care Act: What you and your family need to know

March 26, 2012 Comments off

The Affordable Care Act: What you and your family need to know
Source: Consumers Union

Follow the links below to learn how the new provisions may impact you and your family.

  • Closing Insurance Loopholes
  • Phasing out yearly limits on benefits
  • No more lifetime limits
  • Protection from insurance cancellations
  • New appeal rights
  • Securing Your Family’s Health Coverage
  • The end of denials for pre-existing conditions
  • Bridging the gap for the sick & insured
  • Help paying for insurance & out-of-pocket costs
  • Keeping coverage for older children
  • Making Insurance Fairer
  • Understanding your health plan
  • New state health insurance marketplaces
  • Ending gender discrimination

Reducing the age penalty
First Steps in Controlling Rising Costs
Rate hikes getting a closer look
Premiums for medical care, not overhead and excessive profits
Investing in prevention

Hat tip: PW

New guide to researching colleges from Consumer Reports

January 4, 2012 Comments off

New guide to researching colleges from Consumer ReportsSource: Consumer Reports

Our new guide to finding the best college can make researching schools more efficient and less stressful by directing students to the best resources for finding the information that matters most.

The free guide, Find the Best College for You, is based on research incorporating feedback from more than 2,500 individuals, and includes worksheets that can simplify and support the research and evaluation process. The guide is also available in both English and Spanish.

Not meant to replace a college directory or ratings, our guide provides a list and clear definitions of about 20 pieces of information needed to make good decisions about where to attend school. That information revolves around the following questions:

1. Does the college offer what you want to study?
2. How much will it cost and can you afford to go there?
3. What is the educational quality and experience offered by the school?
4. What type of environment does the college offer?

Are toning shoes unsafe? Reports of injuries raise concern

May 25, 2011 Comments off

Are toning shoes unsafe? Reports of injuries raise concern
Source: Consumer Reports

Ads for Skechers Shape-ups and similar toning shoes suggest they can help give you a firm behind and shapely legs. But our recent analysis of complaints to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new product complaint database suggest the shoes could send you to a doctor’s office or even an emergency room.

We looked at complaints reported since the database started, on March 11, 2011. As of May 22, 2011, 36 people reported injuries associated with toning shoes. That’s more than for any other single type of product in the database. Most of the reported injuries were minor, including tendonitis and foot, leg, and hip pain. But 15 of the reports were of broken bones, some requiring surgery.

Why so many reported injuries? Our medical experts explain that these type of toning shoes have rocker-style bottoms that are designed to cause instability, forcing users to engage muscles not normally used while walking. But that instability might also lead to turned ankles, nasty falls, and other injuries if you are not extra careful.

U.S. Department of Transportation and Consumer Reports Launch Partnership to Fight Distracted Driving

March 7, 2011 Comments off

U.S. Department of Transportation and Consumer Reports Launch Partnership to Fight Distracted Driving
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation/Consumer Reports

The U.S. Department of Transportation and Consumer Reports today announced a new partnership to educate parents, teachers, and teens about the dangers of distracted driving. Consumer Reports released the results of a new poll that shows younger drivers are more likely to use handheld devices while driving — and less likely to view them as a danger.

Starting today, a free guide for parents and educators called “Distracted Driving Shatters Lives” is available at the Department of Transportation (DOT)’s web site http://Distraction.gov and at http://www.consumerreports.org/distracted. Copies will be distributed to schools and volunteer groups by the National School Safety Coalition. The DOT and Consumer Reports today are sending a public service announcement to TV stations nationwide, and the guide will be highlighted in a Consumer Reports video to air in retail stores across America in April, where it is expected to reach as many as 100 million people.

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