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Aldi, Kroger recalls some apples due to possible listeria contamination

Low-cost grocery store chain Aldi and supermarket Kroger have issued voluntary recalls of some of its apples.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, which posts voluntary recalls, Jack Brown Produce, Inc., based in Sparta, Michigan, is recalling Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious apples because of listeria concerns.

>> Read more trending news 

“In cooperation with Jack Brown Produce Inc., and out of an abundance of caution, Aldi has voluntarily recalled an assortment of apples that were available for purchase in stores starting  on December 13, 2017, due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination,” Aldi said in a news release Tuesday.

The recall came after one of Jack Brown Produce’s suppliers, Nyblad Orchards Inc., notified the businesses of the affected products.

The affected products were sold at some Aldi stores in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and North Carolina. 

“To date, no illnesses related to these products have been reported. No other Aldi products are affected by this,” the company said.

Kroger said it recalled lunchbox-size Fuji and Galas sold between Dec. 12 and Tuesday, according to USA Today.

The products affected are sold under the brand name “Apple Ridge” and are as follows: 

  • Honeycrisp apples in 2-pound clear plastic bags;
  • Gala, Fuji, and Golden Delicious apples in 3-pound clear plastic bags;
  • Fuji and Gala apples in 5-pound red-netted mesh bags; and
  • Gala, Fuji and Honeycrisp apples that were tray-packed/individually sold.

Products that may be affected can be identified by the following lot numbers printed on the bag label or the bag-closure clip:

Fuji: NOI 163, 165, 167, 169, 174

Honeycrisp: NOI 159, 160, 173 Golden Delicious: NOI 168 Gala: NOI 164, 166 on either the product labels and/or bag-closure clip

Affected customers should immediately discard the products or return them to a local store for a full refund. Customers with questions can callJack Brown Produce Inc. at 616-887-9568, Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

How to avoid FedEx, UPS, USPS email scams targeting some customers

An email scam affecting FedEx, UPS and U.S. Postal Service customers is taking advantage of an increase in package shipments during the holiday season.

KMOV reported that the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center is warning consumers about a fraudulent email scam.

The emails claim to be from one of the three organizations and say that a package cannot be delivered. The messages contain a link that users are prompted to click in order to get an invoice to pick up the package, but the link is spoofed and goes to a website set up to steal the user’s information, according to FBI officials.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the FedEx Customer Protection Center, customers who get fraudulent emails or who come across suspicious websites should forward them to abuse@fedex.com. It also recommends immediately contacting your bank if interaction with fraudulent sites or emails have led of financial loss.

More information on how to report fraud to the company can be found on the FedEx website.

USPS customers can report a phishing attempt by not clicking on any links and forwarding the message to the CyberSecurity Operations Center at CyberSafe@usps.gov. The suspicious message should be deleted right after.

Suspicious emails purporting to be from UPS should be deleted, according to the UPS website. Customers should not follow any links or click any attachments.

“If you’ve accidentally selected a link, you should run a virus scan immediately,” the site said.

Examples of suspicious UPS emails are available on the UPS website.

UPS apologizes after driver caught throwing packages in video

Shipping company UPS is investigating after a woman said she recorded video of a UPS driver throwing packages onto her lawn from the back of a U-Haul truck.

>> Read more trending news

Sandy Bast told KMOV that she started to record the video Monday after she heard a loud crash outside her home. In the video, a person can be seen throwing packages from the back of a U-Haul truck.

Company officials told KMOV that UPS drivers sometimes use U-Haul trucks when things get busy during the holiday season. In a statement obtained by the news station, UPS officials said Monday’s incident was under investigation.

“Mishandling packages is not tolerated,” the statement said. “We will investigate the situation and take appropriate action.”

Bast told KMOV she could tell the man, who she didn’t realize was a UPS driver at the time, was angry.

“To be honest, I was scared to death because I don’t like angry men outside my door,” she told the news station.

As she watched, Bast said she saw the man throw more than two dozen packages to the ground from the U-Haul truck.

“I saw plenty (packages) that bounced off the ground, and, you know, people work hard to pay for shipping, and then to watch it (get) thrown out and bouncing on your driveway is rather discouraging,” Bast told KMOV.

She said that UPS officials later contacted her to apologize for the incident.

“It’s sad because they usually do a good job,” Bast told KMOV. “But one person can really mess up a lot of things for a lot of people.”

RIP AIM: AOL retires its pioneering Instant Messenger app

It’s the end of an era. As of Friday, web company AOL’s groundbreaking Instant Messenger program is no more.

>> Read more trending news

Oath, the entity formed by AOL combined with Yahoo, announced in October that it would retire AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) on Dec. 15.

As of Friday, users were no longer be able to sign into AIM. Officials with Oath said in October that data associated with the app will be deleted and warned that users would have to save their images, files and chat history before Dec. 15, if they hoped to keep it.

People who have email addresses under the aim.com domain name will still be able to access email as usual, according to Oath.

AIM was the first chat application of its kind when it launched in 1997.

“AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed,” said Michael Albers, vice president of communications products at Oath. “As a result we’ve made the decision that we will be discontinuing AIM effective December 15, 2017.”

Company officials said in an FAQ about the change that no replacement app is in the works.

“Thank you to all of our AIM users,” Albers said. “We are more excited than ever to continue building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products for users around the world.”

Kim Kardashian West's KKW Beauty open casting call for women sparks criticism

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West's KKW Beauty line sparked criticism this week with a tweet about an open casting call for women in Los Angeles, Teen Vogue reports.

>> Read more trending news

"Calling all faces!" the ad reads. "We are excited to announce an open model casting call in the LA area for several upcoming KKW beauty campaigns."

The ad continues: "The call is open to all women 18+."

>> See the tweet here

But the tweet didn't fly with everyone. In a now-deleted tweet, beauty blogger James Charles wrote: "Sister @KimKardashian! There are thousands of boys in cosmetics who love you & I'm sure would be honored to slay a photo shoot for you! This is disappointing."

He added that Kardashian West "is a legend" and one of his "role models."

Others made similar comments. Check out some of them below:

Parents suing after daughter burned to death in Jeep during crash

Mary “Erica” Scannavino rescued dogs, knit blankets for soldiers and created costumes during her 32 years of life.

The Kennesaw, Georgia, woman managed to do all that before she died, trapped in her 1996 Jeep Cherokee engulfed in flames, stopped at a Cobb County intersection in July.

Her family is suing Chrysler, along with the manufacturer of an after-market hitch on the Jeep and the driver of the car that rear-ended her.

>> Read more trending news

The lawsuit — filed Nov. 9 in Gwinnett County, where Chrysler is locally based — alleges that Chrysler should have known the location of the gas tank behind the rear axle was problematic. The suit called that spot the “crush zone.”

It goes on to say “(the driver) caused the wreck and caused Ms. Scannavino’s injuries, but that Defendant Chrysler caused the fire and ultimately the death.”

Scannavino was stopped on Bells Ferry Road waiting to make a left onto Hartley Woods Drive on July 29 when a Kennesaw driver “failed to stop his vehicle and collided,” the lawsuit said. That casued the hitch on her Jeep to pierce the gas tank of the vehicle, which rolled into a shoulder.

According to the lawsuit, the manufacturer of the hitch — Horizon Global — is at fault for making a product it should have known was dangerous.

A Horizon Global spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment Thursday via phone or email.

When asked for a comment, a Fiat Chrysler communications staff member said the company “extends its deepest sympathies to the family of Ms. Scannavino for their tragic loss in this horrific crash.”

It added: “The 1996 Jeep Cherokee meets or exceeds all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards ... We cannot comment further at this time as this matter is under investigation by authorities and is in litigation.”

Chris Glover, who is representing Scannavino’s parents, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the danger of the Cherokee’s tank is among the worst he’s seen in his nearly 17 years of doing automotive product liability.

Four-year-old Decatur County boy Remington “Remi” Walden died in 2012 after a Jeep Grand Cherokee he was riding in was hit from behind and burst into flames.

The Walden family was awarded $150 million in 2015 after suing Chrysler, the Associated Press reported.

The Jeep model in that case was three years older than the one Scannavino was driving and there was no hitch involved, but the fuel tank was in the same place.

“This was just made worse with the trailer hitch,” Glover said of Scannavino’s crash.

He said Scannavino was a history major a Kennesaw State University with hopes of becoming a seamstress at a museum or historical society who would help with tours while wearing period-appropriate clothes.

The lawsuit asks for a jury trial, and Glover said he plans to give the jury a sense of who Scannavino was: she sewed hundreds of blankets for military members over the years and kept a scrapbook of all the dogs she rescued.

The suit says it also wants “the recovery of damages representing the full value of the life of Erica Scannavino.”

When asked what that amount would be, Glover said: “That’s a number that the jury’s going to have to decide, and we trust the jury system.”

Amazon Prime: What holiday shoppers need to know

While Amazon is not doing drone deliveries as part of the package just yet, Amazon Prime is an alluring online service for shoppers. It's tough to compare it to other companies, because who else offers a single package that includes free shipping, videos, music, Kindle reading and photo storage?Still, the multitude of features and perks doesn't mean the yearly outlay will pay off for every shopper. Here's a quick-hit list of the benefits of investing in a Prime account, along with areas to consider carefully if you’re thinking of joining Prime.Cost: For $99 a year, consumers receive free two-day shipping for eligible purchases, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video and book-borrowing privileges from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library for $99 a year. Those who only shop heavily a few months a year might want to consider the same benefits for $10.99 a month, which adds about $32 to the annual price if you keep it for 12 months.

>> Read more trending news

 Cost-benefit ratio: If you typically have a total order required for free standard shipping from Amazon, or constantly need (or want) items within two days, the savings in shipping and time-opportunity cost can quickly offset your investment. A free trial membership available through the Amazon website will also give you an idea of how many of the items you need or like that qualify for Prime and how often you might use the service. Just be careful to cancel the membership after the free trial period if you don’t want it, since a credit card is required. More Amazon Prime shipping benefits: To truly maximize the shipping benefits of a Prime membership, you must live in one of the more than 7,000 cities and towns that receive free same-day or one-day shipping on more than a million qualifying items (and orders over $35). To see if you qualify, check out your zip code on the Amazon website.Tapping those shipping benefits is a matter of looking for the Prime FREE Same-Day or Prime FREE One-Day logo when you're shopping on the site, or using that filter in search. At check-out, make sure to choose the same-day or one-day option.You also have to order in the morning, typically before noon, to receive items by 9 p.m. that day or order in the afternoon for qualified free one-day shipping to arrive the next day by 9 p.m.Prime Early Access: Bargain hunters and those who genuinely enjoy online shopping will revel in the Amazon Prime member benefit of a 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals on Amazon.com. Sharing benefits with household members: If you're a happy shopping family, Prime membership costs can be divided. Prime members can allow others adults in their Amazon Household to share Prime benefits at no extra cost by linking their regular Amazon account to the Household service and agreeing to share payments. Shared benefits include shipping, video, vault for photo storage, other digital benefits and exclusive offers. More must-know facts about Amazon Prime benefits and features:

  • Large items sold or fulfilled by Amazon don't qualify for free two-day shipping though large item shipping is still free.
  • If you're expecting the two-day delivery on time, you must carefully note both the order cut-off time on each item's detail page and the proper shipping selection at checkout.
  • Saturdays and Sundays are not considered business days in calculating free two-day shipping for Prime. The shipping methods apply to business days only, not weekends or holidays.
  • Orders that cost more than $1,300 may require a signature for delivery.

 This Christmas: An Amazon Prime membership makes a great gift for a family or couple just getting started with establishing a household, or who could really use the entertainment options along with the speedy shipping.To purchase other gifts for guaranteed Christmas delivery from Amazon via Prime, be aware that gift orders on Amazon.com must be completed online by Dec. 18 to be shipped with free standard shipping and by Dec. 22 for the free Prime two-day shipping. The select cities that offer free one-day shipping for Prime orders require orders complete by 9:30 a.m. local time on Dec. 24. Oh, and about those drones. Amazon does have a separate Prime Air delivery service in the works. It would deliver packages up to five pounds in under 30 minutes using small drones. As of Dec. 7, 2017, Amazon said it would start offering Prime Air as an option "when and where we have the regulatory support needed to safely realize our vision. We’re excited about this technology and one day using it to deliver packages to customers around the world."

Melania Trump, Karen Pence stop at Whataburger, treat press to french fries

First lady Melania Trump, along with second lady Karen Pence, traveled to Texas on Wednesday to visit with first responders and check on Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. And if there’s anything politicians (or in this case, politicians’ spouses) love to do when they’re on a visit, it’s make a stop at a purveyor of local cuisine. Trump and Pence flew through Corpus Christi, which means Whataburger.

>> Read more trending news

According to social media reports (including tweets from reporters along for the trip, as well as a White House official), the first and second lady stopped by the venerable Texas burger chain and walked out with at least some of those famous fries. The rest of their order is unknown (so far), but the tweets about the pit stop are quite a journey.

Reporters in the press pool said the first and second lady treated them to fries.

Officials in Texas approved. The orange and the white, as ever, proved to be a unifying force.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, Trump and Pence stopped at the Whataburger at 602 Padre Island Drive. 

7 temp holiday jobs to flip into full-time fun

Some holiday gigs require treating naughty shoppers nice. Others demand that you bring joy to the world in the midst of melancholy weather.

If you're up for the challenge of fast-paced, unpredictable seasonal work with a good attitude and work ethic, you might set yourself up for a potentially permanent position.

RELATED: 5 unique side gigs you’ll probably enjoy more than your day job

The following popular brands may start you off as a volunteer or part-time employee, but if you perform above standard and prove to your boss you're reliable, your next step could mean career advancement:

Package handlers: Across the nation this time of year, UPS hires a barrage of part-time package handlers to help carefully load/unload trucks, sort packages and work in teams. 

How to advance in this job: Learn your team members and pick up their slack when opportunities open. UPS proudly shares on its site that many of its senior managers started as college-age package handlers. Find out who these folks are, and prove to them you're willing to get the job done in order to move up the corporate ladder after the holiday season ends.

RELATED: UPS hiring 95,000 workers nationwide

Bell ringers: Simply register to ring for The Salvation Army during the holidays, and your volunteer efforts will help raise money for those in need via the international charitable organization's Red Kettle Campaign

How to advance in this job: This cold-weather gig teaches patience, hones people skills and sharpens fundraising abilities. The cool part: You come across so many influential holiday shoppers who respect your effort as well, so if they have business cards on hand, take one. Once the holiday season campaign is complete, add this fundraising experience to your resume. Then research the organization's employment opportunities across the nation. Apply for a full-time job in line with your temporary experience (ex: a Red Kettle coordinator).

Retail cashiers: Have an evergreen eye for visually restocking a store for the holidays? Maybe you're great with numbers and swiftly ringing up customers. If so, join a brand like Target, which stays in the Christmas shopping fray and offers fun gigs such as visual merchandising and working as a beauty team member. Consistent seasonal warehouse work is also available to help move merchandise. How to advance in these jobs: After you've gotten your foot in the door with temporary work, look into the company's store and corporate careers that match your newly acquired skills but in long-term leadership roles.

Santa's helpers: If you have the ability to make people laugh, consider working for photography companies that need assistance with putting genuine smiles on faces. Companies like sweet treat producer Hershey's Chocolate World have openings for museum or mall-like photo ops with Santa.

 How to advance in this job: After developing key on-the-job soft skills — becoming adaptable to fussy little ones, confident with posing people, enthusiastic about coming up with new ideas and flexible with scheduling — make plans to apply and upgrade your position to other areas that demand innovative thinking.

Gift wrappers: Neat, crafty and hot-with-the-hands job seekers should give Santa's workshop settings a holiday shot. Businesses like Macy's and Neiman Marcus encourage such talent to work as seasonal retail gift registry advisers and gift wrap associates. A creative gig that always alleviates customers' post-holiday shopping, professional gift wrapping tests your customer service and focus skills. 

How to advance in these jobs: Prominent retail brands are constantly on the lookout for savvy retail employees, whether in beauty, personal shopping or sales, for permanent hire. Maintain a good rapport with management during the seasonal work, and inquire regularly about new opportunities that extend beyond the bustling holiday period.

Shelter servers: Bring a little holiday cheer to those lacking basic needs in your community. National nonprofits such as Feeding America offer opportunities to help end hunger on local to national levels through food banks and pantries. These volunteer experiences personally push you to relate and care for those in difficult situations and from diverse backgrounds; build strong networks with like-minded individuals; and ultimately are fulfilling because you're contributing to global initiatives. How to advance in this job: Cultivate professional connections, learn the logistics of community outreach and understand the personal stories beyond these movements during holiday efforts. Doing so will strengthen your portfolio and make you a standout candidate when organizations have leadership positions available at food banks and within corporate offices.

Delivery drivers: Capitalize on giving holiday shoppers and tourists a Lyft or Uber ride to places like the grocery store, post office and major festive events. Providing a safe, smooth riding experience to and from venues guarantees fast cash and establishes an instant clientele. 

How to advance in this job: Maintaining a steady flow of fares during and after the holiday season could easily make this line of work a lasting labor of love. You will start transporting so many individuals from interesting traveling backgrounds. Who knows? That next airport fare just might become your career ticket to a full-time transportation or customer service position offering more pay.

Kroger recalls bottled water for babies after mold complaints

The Kroger Co. is recalling bottled water for infants after customers complained they found mold in the product.

According to a news release on the Food and Drug Administration website, the recall is for 1-gallon bottles of Comforts FOR BABY Purified Water With Fluoride Added with sell-by dates from April 26, 2018, to Oct. 10, 2018. The bottles are labeled with UPC code 0 41260 37597 2, plant code 51-4140 and the text "DISTRIBUTED BY THE KROGER CO, CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202."

Kroger said the product tested positive for Talaromyces penicillium, which can spark allergic reactions.

>> Read more trending news 

"Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rash," the release said. "Allergic reactions to molds are common and can happen immediately after touching or inhaling mold spores, or later. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are also allergic to mold. Molds can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs, even in people who aren’t allergic to them."

Babies with HIV or immune-compromising conditions are particularly at risk, the release said.

The water was distributed to Kroger stores – including Food 4 Less, Jay C, Jay C Food Plus, Kroger, Kroger Marketplace, Owen’s, Payless Super Market and Ruler – in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, the release said. The company has told stores to remove the recalled bottles from their shelves.

If you bought the bottled water, you can return it to the store for a refund, the release said. Do not drink it.

For more information, read the release on the FDA website or call 1-888-SAFEFOOD from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.

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