Health, Home & Family

By Blanca Taylor

Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

Scammers have become more aggressive and sophisticated in the digital age. With millions of people relying on Social Security and Medicare, scammers target audiences who are looking for legitimate program and benefit information. Scammers sometimes try to scare people into giving out their personal information. Never give someone who called you any personal information unless you absolutely know who they are.

The law that addresses misleading Social Security and Medicare advertising prohibits people or non-government businesses from using words or emblems that mislead others. Their advertising can’t claim that they represent, are somehow affiliated with, or are endorsed or approved by Social Security or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Medicare). Continue reading

Food Safety Education Staff
Press Inquiries (202) 720-9113
Consumer Inquiries (888) 674-6854

WASHINGTON, Aug. 05, 2019 — Summer is coming to an end and families across the country are trading in beach balls and roller blades for backpacks and notebooks. But back-to-school time is also followed by cold and flu season. Having the whole family follow some simple healthy behaviors can help them avoid all kinds of illnesses this time of year, including a topic we get lots of questions about: foodborne illness. Proper handwashing is the best thing you can do to stop the spread of germs and avoid getting your little ones sick.

“USDA research in collaboration with RTI International and NC State University has found that consumers are failing to properly wash their hands 97 percent of the time.” said Dr. Mindy Brashears, Deputy Under Secretary Food Safety. “Washing hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent illness, including foodborne illness.”

Be sure that everyone follows these steps:  Continue reading

Dole Fresh Vegetables Announces Precautionary Limited Recall of Baby Spinach

Company Announcement Date: August 09, 2019

FDA Publish Date: August 09, 2019

Product Type: Food & Beverages

Reason for Announcement: Potential Salmonella contamination

Company Name: Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc.

Brand Name: Dole

Product Description: Baby Spinach

Company Announcement

Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. is voluntarily recalling a limited number of cases of baby spinach. The products being recalled are 6 oz Dole Baby Spinach bag, Lot code W20308A (UPC code 0-71430-00964-2), and 10 oz Dole Baby Spinach clamshell, Lot code W203010 (UPC code 0-71430-00016-8), both with Use-by dates of 08-05-2019, due to a possible health risk from Salmonella. Dole Fresh Vegetables is coordinating closely with regulatory officials. No illnesses have been reported in association with the Recall.

The lot code and Use-by date are located on the upper right corner of the bag or on the top label of the clamshell; the UPC code is located on the bottom left corner of the back of the bag or on the bottom label of the clamshell. The impacted products were distributed in IL, IN, KY, MI, NJ, NY, OH, TN, VA, and WI. This product is expired and should no longer be on retail shelves. Consumers are advised to check product they have in their homes and discard any product matching these lot and UPC codes and Use-by dates. Continue reading

(NAPSI)—As you may have discovered, looking for work is not a one-size-fits-all journey. That’s why the Ticket to Work (Ticket) program, Social Security’s national employment-related program, uses a customized approach to help people with disabilities find meaningful work that leads to financial independence.

How It Works

The Ticket program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who get Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. The individualization begins when a beneficiary and a service provider agree to work together. The service provider and beneficiary work one on one to develop an Individual Work Plan (IWP), a detailed road map that identifies employment goals based on where the individual is on the path to work. This process, as well as other services, can be done either in person or virtually. The IWP also includes services that the participants will need to prepare for jobs tailored to their capabilities and strengths. Continue reading

(NAPSI)—If any of the nearly 57 million elementary and high school students in America is someone you care about, there could be good news for you.

Schools today have discovered some wonderful new ways to make learning something kids want to do and school a place they want to be.

These engaging, 21st century classrooms are powered by modern, digital curriculum and content that helps create real-world learning experiences.

What It Does

As a result, studies show that students with access to high-quality digital curriculum resources from Discovery Education, one of the world’s leading education companies, outpace their peers on state assessments in reading, mathematics and social studies, and have higher school attendance rates than those that don’t have access to these resources. In particular:

  • Hispanic students attended an average of three more days per year
  • Students affected by poverty attended an average of six more days per year
  • Students with disabilities attended an average of 12 more days per year.

Continue reading

(NAPSI)—Following record-setting rainfall in many areas of the country, flooding has taken its toll on vehicles. It’s important for those considering buying a used vehicle to be car care aware and check for signs of water intrusion or contamination, advises the nonprofit Car Care Council.

“Purchasing a used vehicle and later learning it has been flood damaged can be very problematic and lead to costly issues down the road. Worse yet, these vehicles can be unhealthy to occupy because of mold and bacteria growing in the carpet and ventilation system,” explained Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council and the Car Care Professionals Network (CCPN), a group of automotive service providers, say it all comes down to how much water the vehicle took in and where it can be reached. They recommend these five steps to determine if a vehicle has been flood damaged: Continue reading

(NAPSI)—BookBites is a continuing series bringing readers information and ideas for their next read. Here are four thrilling new books to try from

“A Stranger on the Beach” by Michele Campbell

An edge-of-your-seat story of passion and intrigue that will keep you guessing until the end. Caroline Stark realizes her husband is lying to her, their money is disappearing and there’s a stranger on the beach outside her house. As Caroline’s marriage and her carefully constructed lifestyle begin to collapse, she turns to Aidan, the stranger, for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling, Aidan’s infatuation with Caroline and her life becomes more destructive. But who is manipulating whom in this deadly game of obsession and control? Who will take the blame when someone ends up dead…and what is Caroline hiding?

To purchase “A Stranger on the Beach” (St. Martin’s Press), go to Continue reading

(NAPSI)—The lives of nearly 733,000 cats and dogs could be saved with the help of caring humans and an innovative Web-based platform introduced this week by Best Friends Animal Society.

Envisioned as a tool to help animal lovers help their communities save more pets, the new community lifesaving dashboard combines groundbreaking data visualization technology with the most comprehensive data set on animal welfare ever published.

Two years in the making, the tool crowdsources, validates and translates complex data about the dogs and cats in U.S. shelters.

It brings an unprecedented level of transparency to the animal welfare movement, unlocking new opportunities for saving pets by providing a detailed picture showing precisely—on a city, state and community level—where cats and dogs need to be saved. Continue reading

(NAPSI)—If you or someone you care for is ever diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer after exposure to asbestos at work decades ago, here’s news for you. If you’re undergoing medical treatment, you can use a free “Asbestos Disease Glossary” available from the Asbestos Lifeline Institute of Great Neck, New York.

The handy, pocket-size booklet explains all the common medical terms used in asbestos injury care and identifies all the different medical specialists involved in treating mesothelioma, lung cancer and several other nonmalignant, asbestos-related diseases.

The free booklet also contains helpful information about achieving monetary compensation for asbestos injuries, which hinges upon a timely filing of the claim and the ability to identify the specific asbestos products you used. In most instances, a “latency period” of several decades after exposure occurs before asbestos diseases develop, so most victims are in their 60s or older.

For victims with valid claims, choosing the right law firm for representation can be daunting, due to the many choices presented through TV commercials and Internet searches. The Asbestos Lifeline Institute can also be helpful in guiding you to the right firm.

To learn more, call the Asbestos Lifeline at (800) 990-1650, e-mail or visit

(NAPSI)—Most people can’t go a day without a cup of coffee or checking their e-mail. But with the demands of everyday life it’s not surprising that about 50 percent of patients sometimes fail to take their daily medications as prescribed.

According to a new survey by WebMD, over the past six months one-third of respondents either sometimes or most of the time missed taking their medication as prescribed even though 76 percent know it can cause their condition to worsen or symptoms to return.

When asked why they’d missed a dose, 66 percent of survey respondents said that they forgot, 38 percent said they experienced side effects, and 26 percent weren’t able to get to the pharmacy to refill their prescription on time.

“Not following a prescription correctly can seriously impact your health,” said Jamal Downer, a Walgreens pharmacist. “Your local pharmacist is an expert who can help you understand your medications and provide tips on how to use tools like smartphone apps that make it easier and more convenient to stay on track.” Continue reading


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