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Script: Door-to-Door Meat Sales

 

Intro:
Welcome to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service Food Safety at home podcast series. These podcasts were designed with you in mind - the consumer - who purchases and prepares meat, poultry and processed meat, egg products for your family and friends.

Each episode will bring you a different food safety topic ranging from safe storage, handling, and preparation of meat, poultry and processed egg products to the importance of keeping foods safe during a power outage.

So sit back, turn up the volume and listen in.

Host:
Welcome to “Food Safety at Home.” This is Kathy Bernard with the Food Safety and Inspection Service. I’m your host for this segment. With me today is Tina Hanes, technical information specialist from FSIS’ Food Safety Education Staff. Tina and I will discuss door-to-door meat sales.

Hello Tina, welcome to the show.

Guest:
Thank you Kathy.

Host:
Tina, most consumers purchase their meat and poultry from retail stores. But some, may purchase it from dealers who knock on their door.
What should consumers look for when buying meat and poultry from a door-to-door salesperson?

Guest:
When considering whether to buy meat from a door-to-door salesperson, consumers must know important information about the dealer and the company before making a decision to buy.


First, they should check the dealer. In most states, salespersons are required to have a state license or permit to sell products door-to-door. Ask for a company brochure or retail sales permit and take plenty of time to read it.

Consumers can check with the State Department of Agriculture to see if the company is licensed.

Host:
Is there anything else that consumers should check before buying?

Guest:
Yes, make sure to inspect and read the label on the package or carton of meat before you buy it. Insist on having the establishment number where the meat or poultry was inspected.

Beware of any dealer who wants you to purchase bulk quantities of meat and poultry that are not properly labeled. Always ask the dealer to leave the box or labeling information if individual products are not labeled.

Host:
What about the delivery of the products?

Guest:
Be sure to check that the product has been carried in a refrigerated vehicle. If not, the product may not be safe because bacteria that can cause foodborne illness multiply rapidly above forty degrees Fahrenheit.

Host:
Tina, how can you tell if the quality of the meat or poultry is good before buying from someone at your door?

Guest:
Companies can choose to have the meat and poultry that they sell graded by the USDA. If the product is graded, there must be a USDA grade shield or mark on the carcass, package, or product label. This is the only mark of identity that indicates the product’s quality.

It’s also helpful to know which cut of meat or poultry you are buying. For example, you don't want to pay top dollar for tenderloin and receive a cheaper cut such as a shoulder roast.

Host:
These are all good tips to keep in mind when deciding whether to buy meat or poultry from a door-to-door salesperson, but what if you have already made the purchase and you change your mind or if you are not satisfied with the product?

Guest:
If you change your mind or are not happy with the quality of the product you have some options. The Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling-Off rule gives you three days to cancel your sale. Check the sales contract or receipt because it may explain your right to cancel. If you have a complaint about the company, try to resolve your dispute with the seller first.

And finally, make sure you act quickly. Send a letter of complaint. A letter is important because it puts your complaint on record and lets the company know you are serious about pursuing the dispute.

Host:
You can learn more about door to door meat sales by visiting the FSIS Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov. Or visit us online for assistance from our virtual representative “Ask Karen” askkaren.gov.

Guest:
Consumers may also call our toll-free USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888- MPHotline. That’s 1-888-674-685.

Host:
Well, that’s it for this week. We’ve been talking to Tina Hanes from FSIS’ Food Safety Education Staff. Thank you so much Tina, for your helpful guidance on door-to-door meat sales. I’m Kathy Bernard and I’d like to thank you for joining us for this episode of “Food Safety at Home.” And remember, “Be Food Safe.”

Outro:
Well, that’s all for this time. Thanks for joining us today for another episode of food safety at home!

For answers to your food safety questions call USDA's toll-free meat and poultry hotline at 1-888-mphotline. That’s 1-888-674-6854.

You can also get answers to food safety questions online from our virtual representative "ask karen" at www.askkaren.gov .

Let us know what you think of this podcast by sending your comments to podcast@fsis.usda.gov.
Thanks for tuning in.

 
Last Modified Nov 08, 2013