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Consumer Watch

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If you are buying a new product, whether it be foodstuffs, clothing, electrical goods, or otherwise, I recommend reading the labels and other information printed on the product carefully. Check the net weight of food products since too many times the manufacturer changes the container and/or the label and, sure enough, the weight will be slightly less, but not so the price.

Make use of the phone numbers on labels and ask your questions and make your complaints directly to the manufacturer or importer. I have found it useful to check where I can buy a particular product if I no longer find it on the shelf of my local supermarket.

You can also query if you are not sure about the date on the package, as sometimes the date can refer to the shelf life of the product and not the last recommended date for usage. Note that I say "recommended date" - most products are produced to be used/eaten well after the printed date on the package.

All this brings me to the products made by Olivia, which I have been using for some time. I opened a jar of one of their sauces which had been in my refrigerator for a long time, tucked away in a corner. When I went to use it again, I found a layer of mold on the top. In answer to my complaint to the manufacturers of Olivia products, I was surprised to learn that they recommend, after opening this type of product, to use it within seven (7) days, and sure enough this was written on their label in very small print. However, I had been using this sauce for at least one month or more after having opened it. Draw your own conclusions from this.


The common variety of potatoes today comes mainly in pre-packed string type bags - closed tight. You cannot easily judge the size or quality of the potatoes, whether they have started to bud, or if there are any rotting ones in the bag. When I questioned the manager of my supermarket about this, complaining that I have to pay the same price for the good and the bad ones, I was told that they themselves had no choice but to accept what they received, but that they could return bags that appeared to them to be unsalable. He also complained that many people open these bags to remove some of the potatoes and he is left with half-bags or less. My next question was: why do they charge nearly double for loose potatoes, which are usually the ones left over from the string bags? I did not get any reply to this. I admit to being one of those who do open a bag when I see there is a fair percentage of damaged, not good potatoes inside.


If you are one of those people whose intake of medicines is varied and large in number then I recommend checking very carefully the correctness of both the renewed prescription you receive from your doctor and the actual medicines you get from the pharmacy, whether this is your local pharmacy or your Kupat Holim.

My husband, after being hospitalized, received a new list of medicines from the hospital. When I went to the pharmacy after this hospitalization, I did not think I had to check the hospital prescriptions he had received against the identical medicines that he already had at home. I thought it was enough trying to understand all the different generic names that were available at the moment.

Some of the medicines were the same as he had previously taken but the strengths of some were different, so when I ordered these medicines from my family doctor, I did not think to check the prescription for the strength of each one. I found it sufficient work to double check all the different names for the same medicines. But I was wrong. So you are hereby warned!

P.S. If you get a prescription from the hospital, I recommend photocopying and keeping them.


I buy Sucrazit tablets in the 1200 tablet container which is the most economical. As this is cumbersome to open and close each time, I also once purchased the 700-tablet container, which is much easier to open and close, and which I now refill from the larger one. If you are careful, you can remove the top of the 700 container together with the inside plastic (use a plate underneath to catch any remaining tablets), separate the lid and carefully put the inside mechanism back, (checking that the bottom fits correctly), pour in a quantity of Sucrazit tablets, and replace the lid on top. I have been repeating this process for a few years now. 



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