Miami Residents Sue Anheuser-Busch Claiming Deceptive Advertisement

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CC Flickr/tnarik
Two Miami residents have filed a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch claiming false advertisement.

Lady J. Suarez and Gustavo E. Oliva say that the mega-brewery has violated the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The lawsuit, filed last month, claims A-B's Kirin beer is deceptively advertised as being imported from Japan.

See also: Best Cheap Beers: If You Must Buy at a 24-Hour Gas Station, Here Are Your Choices

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Local10: Restaurant Owners Buy Produce From Dumpster Divers

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Emily Codik
Do you know where your favorite restaurant sources its produce?
Peruse the menu at many of Miami's fine-dining establishments and you'll see proclamations of farm-fresh produce complete with the names of the farms where your tomato or mango was lovingly grown.

That's all well and good, but have you ever stopped to think where cheaper, lesser-known restaurants get their vegetables? You might rightly think they come from a bulk supplier such as Sysco or even from the owner making a Costco run, but did you ever stop to think the red pepper in your salad might have come from a dumpster?

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Brandon Huber, Golden Corral Whistleblower: Ribs by the Dumpster

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Brandon Huber via YouTube
All-you-can-eat ribs
You'll find most commercial kitchens as clean and organized as a military barracks. But there are always exceptions to the rule.

The dining public rarely sees what lurks behind that swinging door. New York City has implemented a unique rating system in which every restaurant -- large or small -- gets a letter grade posted in plain sight of the general public. There's even an iPhone app that allows you to search inspection results for any restaurant in New York City.

In Florida, though the information is public, one must do a little investigating to find a favorite restaurant's inspection records online.

According to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, every restaurant in the state is inspected annually on a random basis. But that's once a year. What happens the other 364 days? Yelp and other review sites help police restaurants. If a reviewer writes about a dirty bathroom or a cockroach, you can bet everyone in the local community will know about it.

Much rarer are employee whistleblowers such as Brandon Huber, who works at the Golden Corral in Port Orange, Florida.

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Mountain Dew Breakfast Beverage: How Bad is It?

Categories: Buyer Beware
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PepsiCo
Kickstart, the new breakfast drink by Mountain Dew.
Soft drink powerhouse PepsiCo has announced the launch of a new breakfast beverage by Mountain Dew.

Kickstart is being touted as an "entirely new beverage," which is sort of not true.

The drink, which blends juice and the favorite soda of hopped-up kids and frat boys everywhere, actually started out as Mountain Dew A.M., an unholy blend of Dew and OJ that was launched at Taco Bell in select markets as part of the chain's breakfast menu.

Kickstart, which launches nationwide February 25 and comes in two flavors -- Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch -- is that same mix.

According to PepsiCo, the new soda will incorporate 5 percent juice and "just the right amount of caffeine." It's calling the concoction the "ultimate morning pick-me-up."

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Burger King Drops Supplier Linked to Horse Meat

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Miami-based Burger King is cutting ties with a United Kingdom meat supplier found to be using horse meat to "beef up" its products.

Burgers from processors Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods in Ireland and Dalepak Hambleton in Britain tested positive for horse DNA, according to Reuters. Part-horse patties were also sent to grocery chains throughout the UK.

The scandal sent shockwaves through the nation's multibillion-dollar beef industry, but other than being gross by American standards, it almost seems like no big deal. The UK sends "thousands of horses a year abroad to be killed for meat," according to a story in USA Today.

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Fish Mislabeling, "Bro, That's Been Going On For Years"

Categories: Buyer Beware
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At Trigger Seafood headquarters in Doral
Once a fish is skinned off and filleted it's difficult for even an expert fisherman to know what species they're looking at.

That's why it's so easy to fleece the average consumer with a mislabeled fish.

The ol' fish switcheroo is nothing new, and the profits it generates keep the cycle going.

We spoke to whole fish salesman Jorge Figueroa of Trigger Seafood about it. Here's what he had to say.

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Lies! South Florida Sushi Restaurants Mislabeled White and Yellowfin Tuna 100 Percent of the Time

Categories: Buyer Beware
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Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services
The next time you go for happy-hour sushi in Miami, there is a 100 percent chance you will not receive that roll of white tuna sushi even though you paid for it, according to a study released yesterday by Oceana, an ocean conservation group.

Other mislabelings include yellowfin tuna and whitefish. In the new report, titled Persistent Seafood Fraud Found in South Florida, researchers draw their results from 96 random samples from 60 sushi venues collected between December 2011 and January 2012 in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach areas.

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Trans Fats: New York Bans It, Florida Lets Anybody Use It

Categories: Buyer Beware
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Flickr CC
Innocent cupcake, or trans fat ridden confection?
Shoppers entering the Fresh Market in Coconut Grove are greeted with vibrant flowers, elegant wooden fixtures and mellow classical music.

The bakery section features organized stacks of sugar cookies, fruity pies and loaf cakes, all placed in a very sweet, delicious way.

But, if you take a closer look at the list of ingredients on each label, this ethereal spell might easily break.

The mini vanilla cupcakes are prepared with partially hydrogenated soybean oil. The larger cupcakes feature the same ingredient, along with the iced layered cakes.

Artificial trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) and saturated fats are the most commonly used fats by bakers. Because of many health concerns though, trans fats have been largely eliminated in some places. The reasoning behind this decline can be summarized by one of Michael Pollan's Food Rules: it's better to pay the grocer, not the doctor.

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Sustain, Gotham Steak, City Hall, and Others: Misleading Salmon Descriptions

Categories: Buyer Beware
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via Flickr CC
Sustain Restaurant + Bar has developed a brand synonymous with greener eating. Deconstructed branches line its walls and lamps in natural shapes light up its vast open space, all contributing to a signature earthy feel. The menu lists ingredients with sources and location, and the restaurant strongly promotes its dedication to local food.

This feeling of sustainability all comes at a high price. Main entrées for dinner range from $18 to $30, a hefty cost for peace of mind.

But there's one item on the detailed menu that stirs up concern: the misleading salmon description. The dish described as "grilled organic Irish salmon" at Sustain lures diners to pay the listed $25 for the entrée because it's organic. The truth is, though, it isn't organic, at least in the United States. The USDA does not have established standards for organic seafood, and the description of "organic" salmon is an unregulated term in this country.

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USDA

Angry About Paying an Automatic Tip?

Categories: Buyer Beware
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If you are not careful, gratuity can cost you a plate full.
We've all seen restaurants include gratuity on very large bills and when serving large parties. Most add anywhere between 12 and 18 percent on the bill for parties of four or more.

In turn, most patrons don't complain when having to shell out a prescribed amount in certain cases, and some even add an additional tip for outstanding service.

"You get both types of people," said Jeff Plume, a server in the downtown area. "Some people see the 'gratuity included' and feel somewhat slighted, say if they prefer to tip 15 percent and the automatic tip is 18. Others, especially those who (experience) outstanding service, add more tip to the bill. Neither really complain much."

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Tipping

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