Liz Crenshaw's Guide to Consumer Issues, Recalls and More

Ask Liz: Milk, Phone Scams & Child Safety Seats

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ask Liz: 10-31-08

    Do child safety seats have an expiration date? The National Safe Kids Campaign says:

    • Most manufacturers agree that child safety seats should not be used after six years.
    • That's because there's always new technology that can help protect kids better.
    • It says many new car seats have "use by dates" on them.
    • All car seats should have sticker on them telling you when the seat was manufactured.
    • If you're getting a used car seat, make sure it's from someone you know and trust and make sure it's never been involved in an accident.

    Why does organic milk seem to have a longer shelf life than regular milk? The International Dairy Foods Association helped us with this answer:

     

    • The pasteurization temperature is what determines the shelf life of a dairy product.
    • Milk needs to be pasteurized to destroy bacteria for safety reasons and can be regularly pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized, which involves a higher heat treatment.
    • Ultra-pasteurization results in a longer shelf life, and is commonly used in organic milks.
    • The length of the shelf life is only valid while the package is unopened.

    Are there any telltale signs that a scam artist might be on the other end of the phone line? The Federal Communications Commission has this warning:

    • One common scam leads consumers to incur high charges on their cell phone bills by making international calls.
    • Scammers leave a voice message saying you've won a prize and when you call back the number to claim your winnings, the international calling charges kick in.
    • The most common area codes in this scam are: 809, 649, 284 and 876.
    • Check any unfamiliar area codes before returning calls.
    • Be aware that scammers can connect calls to international telephone numbers, where the long distance fees can pile up.

    Got a question for Ask Liz? Send it to askliz@nbcwashington.com. Connect with the Consumer Unit on Facebook & Twitter!