Archive for June, 2008

E. Coli cases traced to Kroger beef

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

The Michigan Department of Community Health said more than half of a recent rash of E. coli cases reported in the Midwest have been traced to ground beef sold at Kroger stores in Michigan and Ohio in May and June.
The lots of beef no longer are on store shelves, but additional retailers and outlets may be identified.
MDCH has confirmed 15 E. coli cases that are genetically linked and 10 of those cases are hospitalized.
“Kroger is fully cooperating with state and federal investigators,” said Don Koivisto, Michigan Department of Agriculture Director. “It’s critical that consumers follow safe food practices to
reduce the risk of foodborne illness such as cooking your meat thoroughly using a food thermometer to determine proper internal temperature.”
The 15 genetically linked cases, E. coli are present in seven Michigan counties including Eaton (1), Macomb (2), Washtenaw (4), Saginaw (1), Genesee (1), Wayne (3) and Oakland (3). Reported E. coli patients became ill between May 31 and June 8. Additionally, individuals in Ohio also have been identified with the same genetic strain of E. coli O157. The confirmed Ohio and Michigan cases have been linked both epidemiologically and genetically to this outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The symptoms of E. coli infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. If there is fever, it usually is not very high (less than 101˚F/less than 38.5˚C). Most people get better within 5-7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening.

Nordstrom girls sandals pose choking hazard

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Girls sandals sold that Nordstrom stores are decorated with flowers that can detach and pose a choking hazard to small children.
The recall notice is here.

Dollar Tree glue guns have short circuit

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Nearly a half-million Crafters Square mini hot-melt glue guns are being recalled by Dollar Tree stores because they have a short circuit that can cause the guns to smoke.
Details and a photo are here.

Water pump motors are fire hazard

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Various water pump motors for lawn sprinklers and other systems made by A.O. Smith of Tipp City, Ohio are being recalled because the motor is a smaller horsepower than its labeling indicates, meaning it could overheat and catch fire if used for certain applications.
A recall notice and list of affected models can be found here.

Dodge Journey models being recalled

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Chrysler is recalling 6,692 of the 2009 Dodge Journey crossovers due to the possibility of an engine compartment fire. The affected vehicles are equipped with a 3.5 liter engine.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that the engine wiring harness on the affected models may contact the left transaxle mount, damage the wiring harness and cause a fire.
Dealers will check the engine wiring harness for damage and wiring will be repaired as needed. The wiring harness will be secured away from the left transaxle mount, according to NHTSA.
Chrysler has not announced an owner notification schedule for the recall.
Dodge Journey owners can contact Chrysler at (800) 853-1403 for further information.

Feds raid PETCO warehouse

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Federal officials have seized products from a PETCO warehouse in Joliet, Ill. because of concerns that they’ve been contaminated by bird and vermin infestations.
The warehouse serves PETCO stores in several Midwest states, including Michigan.
Details are here.

Wal-Mart recalls lead-laden keychains

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Wal-Mart is recalling more “Hip Charm” keychains because they’ve been found to have excessive lead content. This follows an April recall of similar chains.
Details are here.

Airwall saunas have overheating problem

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Infra-red saunas made by Airwall have a heating unit problem that can cause the wood saunas to overheat and catch fire.
There have been four reports of fires starting du to the problem.
The saunas are the subject of a recall.

Bush Hog ORV throttle cables can stick

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Bush Hog off-road utility vehicles are being recalled because they have a throttle cable that can freeze in cold temperatures.
Details are here.

Don’t bank on these banks being legit

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

The U.S. Comptroller of the Currency has compiled an amazingly long list of bogus banks that apparently have been doing business in the U.S. over the last several years.
If the legitimate sounding name is a bank based in Belize or Paulau, think twice.
Here is the list.

Toyota Sienna liftgate struts can fail

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Toyota is recalling 196,222 Sienna vans from the 2004 through 2006 model years to repair the struts which hold up the power-assisted liftgate because the struts can fail, causing the gate to power its way shut and possibly injure someone standing nearby.
Apparently, the gas-filled struts used to lift and support the liftgate deteriorate and might not be able to support the weight of the liftgate when it is open.
Toyota dealers will replace the struts with ones with a longer service life.
Toyota has not said when it will contact Sienna owners about the liftgate recall but owners may contact Toyota at 1-888-270-9371.

Motorcycle clamp kits are faulty

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Some Tucker Rocky motorcycle clamp kits designed for off-road riding are faulty, could split and cause the rider to fall.
Here are details of the recall.

Card fraud in the name of K’zoo

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

It’s fairly amateurish, but still might be enough to fool some.
Arriving in my e-mail box this morning was a message from KCSB and the subject was “Alert.”
The message said this:
“This is not a promotional e-mail. Please call us immediately at (800) 507-9348 regarding recent activity on your account. We’re available 24/7 to take your call.
Please disregard this e-mail if you’ve already call us since the date this e-mail was sent.
We appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.
Thank you
KCSB in association with National ID Recovery
Copyright ©2008 Kalamazoo County State Bank”

Since I’ve never had any dealings with KCSB, I gave the 800-number a call, which connected me to a computer-generated voice welcoming me to the “Card Activation Center.” The voice advised me that they would never seek personal financial information such as account or Social Security numbers, then it advised me to enter my credit card number, expiration date and PIN number. I entered some bogus numbers and the voice told me to please enter it again because it didn’t match.
My guess is that the scammer simply is capturing account numbers so they can rip off unsuspecting card holders. The scam probably plays better in the Kalamazoo area.
But if you visit the legit KCSB Web site, you’ll find this warning:
“Phishing” and “spoofing” may not appear in your dictionary yet, but these terms refer to ID-theft scams being used to target bank customers. You should never provide any personal financial information, including your Social Security number, bank account numbers or passwords, over the phone or the Internet if you did not initiate the contact.”
Sound financial advice.

Some Ski-Doos are fire hazard

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Certain 2007 and 2008 models of Ski-Doo snowmobiles are being recalled because they might develop a fuel leak that can result in fire.
Model names, numbers and a photo of affected machines can be found here.

Survey ranks airline customer satisfaction

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Alaska Airlines, Continental Airlines and JetBlue Airways rank highest in a customer satisfaction survey by J.D. Power and Associates. But overall customer satisfaction is at a three-year low due to “people factors.”
Check out the findings and all the rankings here.