LITTLE ROCK -- Shopping at home can be a safe and convenient way to make necessary purchases, especially for older adults, stay-at-home parents, and people with chronic health conditions that make it difficult to leave the home. Most grocery shopping from home occurs over the internet with delivery or curbside pickup orders, but some consumers make purchases from sellers who come to their doors. While purchases from licensed door-to-door sellers can be safe, questionably sourced meats may be low quality or rancid. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is urging Arkansans to use caution when making door-to-door purchases.
"Arkansans should be cautious when purchasing food products from door-to-door salesmen," said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. "There are many individuals who try to resell old meat in order to turn a profit."
Here are some helpful tips to keep you safe while considering meat purchases:
- Know your municipality's laws on door-to-door selling. If your municipality requires a permit to sell products door-to-door, ask to see the salesperson's license to sell.
- Look up business reviews with your local Better Business Bureau to read any complaints about the seller.
- Be informed. Ask for a brochure or other literature from the company and read it carefully. If you aren't sure about the sourcing and distribution of the meat, reconsider making a purchase.
- Don't buy anything out of a truck or car trunk that isn't refrigerated. Unrefrigerated meat may be unsafe to consume.
- Check for USDA grading information on the product. Every package should have a USDA seal of inspection, along with a label identifying the cut, ingredients, and net weight.
- If you believe that the seller is attempting to pressure or intimidate you into making a purchase instead of allowing you to make an informed decision, think about what the seller is trying to hide and consider not making a purchase.
- Get a receipt. The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Cooling-Off Rule gives purchasers three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in your home. The salesperson must orally inform you of your cancellation rights, provide two copies of a cancellation form, and a copy of your contract or receipt. The contract or receipt must contain the date of the sale, the name and address of the seller, and an explanation of the buyer's right to cancel. Always keep your receipt in case you need to cancel the purchase or contact the seller.
For additional information about meat safety, visit the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Services website (www.fsis.usda.gov) or call the USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline (1-888-674-6854).
If you wish to file a complaint against a door-to-door seller with the Attorney General's office, you can do so by calling (800) 482-8982, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting ArkansasAG.gov.
About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.
A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.