Supermarkets urged to notify individual customers

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A leading consumer group is urging supermarkets to use their discount card programs to help in the recall of tainted foods.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest says the cards that are already used to track customers' shopping habits can be used to alert them in case of a recall.

Some merchants have already adopted notification programs. Among them is Costco, whose warehouse stores are open only to members. Others include Wegmans Food Markets and Price Chopper, regional chains in the Northeast.

Such a notification system might have helped avoid much confusion over the current peanut recall. Some 900 separate food items have been recalled because of a salmonella outbreak blamed for at least eight deaths.

Some supermarket chains have doubts about setting up an extensive notification system. A spokesman for Safeway says a companywide recall may not be practical.

%@AP Links

On the Net:

FDA's salmonella page:

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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