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This week on Marketplace
We're all trying to stay home as much as we can with COVID-19 cases surging. But there's no avoiding the grocery store. We have to make that necessary trip pretty often. We've seen big food retailers promoting their enhanced cleaning protocols since the pandemic began and we wanted to know just how much they've been following through on those promises. Based on seven years of inspection records provided by Toronto Public Health, we took hidden cameras into some of Toronto's supermarkets with high rates of past infractions. We spotted flies in the meat department, employees wearing their masks improperly, even an empty soap dispenser in a public washroom. With the help of a retired public health inspector, we also tested the internal temperature of some foods and found that they're a breeding ground for pathogens and pose a high risk of causing food poisoning. Plus, what's the germiest surface in a supermarket? The results might surprise you. — Asha Tomlinson and the Marketplace team
They've had thousands of COVID-related travel complaints, but the CTA hasn't settled one yet
Are you still waiting for a response to your complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency? Join the club. The agency hasn't settled a single complaint from Canadians demanding refunds for cancelled flights since the onset of the pandemic.
The CTA says it's still working through a backlog of complaints filed before COVID-19, but that's not satisfying many consumers, including Carly Aubertin and her husband, Rob McLean. "It's frustrating that the government's not there to support us," said Aubertin. Read more
He bought an electric car for its sustainability, but it might still end up in landfill
Clayton Brander loves his 2013 Nissan Leaf, but he's not so happy about how much it might cost to replace its battery. Two dealerships have told him it could cost at least $15,000, which would be more than he paid for the vehicle in the first place.
Brander said he purchased the vehicle because of his interest in sustainability, but now wonders what's so sustainable about a vehicle that's this hard to maintain. "It makes more sense for them financially, I imagine, to sell new cars than to service the old cars," he said. Read more
Some of Canada's busiest malls have been collecting millions of images of shoppers — without their consent
Cadillac Fairview, the real estate company behind shopping malls like the Eaton Centre in Toronto, embedded cameras inside its digital information kiosks at 12 of them across Canada, according to a new investigation by the federal, Alberta and B.C. privacy commissioners. The company says it used the data to track foot traffic and shoppers' ages and genders — but not to identify individuals. They also argued consumers were made aware of the activity through decals placed on shopping mall entry doors, something the commissioners ruled wasn't good enough to meet the standard for meaningful consent. Read more
Hand sanitizer can be harmful for kids, but experts say the benefits outweigh the risks
As hand sanitizers proliferate in our daily lives, so do their inherent risks — especially for young children.
Although accidental poisonings have been on the rise since the pandemic struck, experts like Kelly Grindrod, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo's school of pharmacy, say hand sanitizer is still helping stop the spread of COVID-19.
The solution to safe sanitizer lies in avoiding methanol-based products, which are not approved by Health Canada, and hand sanitizers not recommended for children or pregnant women, said Grindrod. Read more
What else is going on?
'Stuff needs to change': Family of man who died of COVID-19 appalled by level of care at Parkview Place 'It's been an absolute nightmare,' says daughter of resident who died of COVID-19
TikTok partners with Shopify to allow merchants to sell things in-app Deal comes as plan to sell U.S. assets stuck in limbo.
Nova Scotia to begin testing new 911 system that could accept pictures, video It's being called the biggest change to 911 in the past 30 years.
Daily Shield hand sanitizer has been recalled If you purchased this product, stop using it immediately.
Marketplace needs your help
Do you think you may have problems with mould, dust or just poor indoor air quality? If you would be interested in a free home inspection in southern Ontario — and you and your family are ready to be on TV — we want to hear from you! Send details about your home, including the location, type of home and any air quality concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you seen a product claiming to cure COVID-19 that seems too good to be true? Maybe a miracle cure that has you asking questions? We want to hear about it. Email us at email@example.com.
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