Consumer Catch-up: Major beef recall, high gas prices, holiday spending outlook, JCPenney holiday hiring

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A major recall of millions of pounds of beef you need to know about! Plus, experts predict a boost in holiday spending this year. (KGO-TV)

6.5 million pounds of beef recalled

An Arizona-based company is recalling more than 6.5 million pounds of raw beef products over concerns it may be contaminated with salmonella.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says JBS Tolleson, Inc. distributed the products nationwide.

The products include ground beef, and were packaged between July 26 and Sept. 7. They all have the establishment number "EST. 267" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The beef was sold under brand names: Walmart, Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, Showcase, Showcase Walmart, and JBS generic.

Officials say 57 people from 16 states became sick between Aug. 5 and Sept. 6.

You can view the full list of products included in the recall in this PDF.

If you have any of the recalled products, throw them away or return to the store.

Gas prices at almost four-year high

A new report says gas prices are nearing their highest levels in four years.

The average price for unleaded is up about six cents in the past month, topping $2.90 a gallon.

California averages are much higher due to taxes and cleaner burning fuel requirements. Gasbuddy.com says the average in California right now is $3.78 a gallon.

Experts say prices are up because strengthening global economies and international politics have boosted oil prices.

Holiday spending projections

If you plan to spend a bit more as we get into the holiday shopping season, you're not alone.

The National Retail Federation expects retail sales in November and December will jump by as much as 4.8 percent compared to 2017.

The group says in part because of unemployment nearing a 50-year low, shoppers are ready to spend.

During the holiday season last year, food and beverage stores saw the most sales, followed closely by online and mail-order sales.

JCPenney announces seasonal hiring

JCPenney is the latest retailer to announce its plans to handle the influx of shoppers.

The department store says it will bring on an extra 39,000 seasonal workers, including 600 associates in the Bay Area.

To sweeten the deal for employees, JCPenney is offering drawings for prizes like free trips, tech gadgets, or glamour packages.

Stores are holding a national hiring event on Tuesday, October 16th.

JCPenney has locations in Antioch, Concord, Daly City, Hayward, Newark, Pleasanton, San Bruno and San Jose.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

Web copy written and produced by Miranda Dotson
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business7 On Your Sideu.s. & worldconsumerconsumer concernsbeefrecallgas pricesholiday shoppingshoppingjobs
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