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Arkansas attorney general warns against door-to-door meat sales

Rutledge said while purchases from licensed door-to-door sellers can be safe, questionably sourced meats may be low quality or rancid.
Credit: Andrey Lapshin - stock.adobe.com

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is urging Arkansans to be careful when making door-to-door meat purchases. 

In a news release, Rutledge said most grocery shopping from home happens over the internet with delivery or curbside pickup orders, but some consumers make purchases from sellers who come to their doors. 

She added while purchases from licensed door-to-door sellers can be safe, questionably sourced meats may be low quality or rancid.  

“Arkansans should be cautious when purchasing food products from door-to-door salesmen,” she said. “There are many individuals who try to resell old meat in order to turn a profit.”

She gave some 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 more information about meat safety, click here or call the USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854.

If you want to file a complaint against a door-to-door seller with the Attorney General's office, you can call 800-482-8982, email consumer@arkansasag.gov, or click here.

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