Consumer Alert: Farmers market and vacation safety

Consumer experts say its important to protect oneself during summertime activities.

Consumer experts say its important to protect oneself during summertime activities. (7/29/16)

EDISON - The summer is the perfect time to purchase fresh produce as well as go away on vacation. However, experts say that both activities have some hidden risks.

When shopping for fresh produce at a farmer’s market, it is important to make sure that the items purchased are safe.

The Alliance for Food and Farming recommends that consumers ask vendors to clarify exactly what they mean when they say items are “certified organic” or “pesticide free.”

Consumers should also make sure items like eggs and milk are properly chilled. Customers should also ask if milk and cheese is pasteurized to kill bacteria. Some people say that they like raw or unpasteurized milk, but experts say that it can pose health risks for kids, seniors and pregnant women.

It is also important to make sure meat is stored in a separate bag from produce to prevent contamination.

When traveling, the Federal Trade Commission warns vacationers to beware of scams designed to steal their identities.

The commission says that guests should be aware of a scam where someone calls their room pretending to be from the hotel and asking for a credit card. Most hotels will ask the guest to come to the front desk if there is any type of issue with billing.

Experts say that Wi-Fi in hotels can also pose a risk. Guests should make sure the network they log-on to is actually the hotel’s authorized network and not a fake one set up by scammers.

If the hotel does not offer a secured network, experts advise guests to use a virtual private network or VPN service to protect their data.

Experts also advise guests to limit the amount of sensitive information they take with them on vacation. Only necessary identifications and credit cards should be taken. The rest should be left at home. Exerts also say to never travel with a social security card.

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