Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "grocery" ...

  • Doing the Math: Behind a $5 Million Inauguration

    For nearly a year, the Texas Tribune’s Shannon Najmabadi and Jay Root have been on the hunt for records detailing the state’s spending on Gov. Greg Abbott’s 2019 inauguration. From a source, they obtained a program and fundraising solicitation for the celebration. The documents revealed that dozens of influential corporations and individuals — AT&T Corporation; H-E-B grocery; a handful of political appointees — had donated thousands of dollars for front-row access during the festivities — and, perhaps, beyond.
  • Devastating Virus

    Most people think food comes from the grocery store. So when a devastating virus hit the hog industry in Spring 2013, few people probably noticed except when it came to paying a lot more for bacon that summer. At Harvest Public Media, a public radio collaboration based in the Midwest, we know that food production is an expensive, complicated process. We investigated Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, a fast-spreading virus never before seen in the U.S., finding an intriguing international story and a significant failure by the U.S. agency that oversees agriculture.
  • Meat re-packing in grocery store

    Radio-Canada's investigation brought to light an illegal practice that had been going on for years and that the agrifood industry was determined to keep under wraps: the systematic altering of packaging dates on meat sold in grocery stores to make consumers believe it was fresher than it actually was. Each morning, store butchers were taking packaged meats from the shelves and relabeling them with a later packaging date.
  • Inside Sysco: Where Your Food is Really Coming From

    Sysco Corporation is the world’s largest food distributor. It’s a $43 billion dollar publicly traded corporation that supplies restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools, and many other food facilities with everything from raw meat and dairy to fruits and vegetables. The company’s motto is “Good Things Come from Sysco.” But this yearlong investigation exposed the company’s widespread practice of storing fresh food in dirty, unrefrigerated, outdoor storage lockers for hours, before it was delivered to unsuspecting customers across Northern California. Employees across the U.S. and Canada later revealed that these sheds were part of the company’s food distribution practices for over a decade. The investigation uncovered a widespread network of sheds in places including Washington, Utah, Illinois, Tennessee, New York, Maryland and the District of Columbia stateside, in addition to Ontario and British Columbia in Canada.
  • Who’s the Grossest Grocer in New York?

    In our “Grossest Grocer” series, Patch journalists uncovered dozens of grocery stores that could sicken the communities we serve, and made a vast database of state records available to the wider public for the first time. To find New York supermarkets with a history of food safety problems and tell their stories, we exclusively obtained a state database of inspection records through a Freedom of Information Law request and protracted negotiation with the state. Our editors spent months analyzing millions of violations observed by state inspectors, conferring with experts, and verifying our finds with on-the-ground reporting. We published more than 70 articles in this series, and an interactive map with detailed data on all of New York’s retail food stores -- more than 33,000 businesses, from corner bodegas to major grocery chains.
  • Brando Beach

    Some of the best investigative stories begin with a question. Public radio journalist Austin Jenkins wondered, why is the Washington State Investment Board contracting with a global security firm to protect its account managers? That led to weeks of digging and sifting through difficult-to-obtain documents. What Jenkins found is that this "under the radar" state agency maintains holdings worth millions of dollars in emerging (and sometimes dangerous) markets all over the world. They include housing projects and shopping centers in Brazil, beach properties in Vietnam, warehouses in Eastern Europe, cement plants in India and grocery stores in Romania. Jenkins found that the state of Washington spent $200 million to build a resort on Marlin Brando's private island in Tahiti. All these exotic investments came about because the Washington State Investment Board is responsible for funding the pensions of 400,000 public sector workers and retirees. The task is so big that a traditional mix of stocks and bonds won't do. So Washington, like a lot of states, seeks out higher risk strategies that can return higher rewards. Washington is now a leader in private equity investments. But Jenkins found that the state agency has few limits on these investments. Critics, including some pensioners, say Washington is chasing profits at the expense of social values. Even leaders at the Investment Board admit that, with $85 billion in assets, the agency doesn’t have the staff to police every investment.
  • Anatomy of a Recall

    The series had its origin in a recall announcement. Ground beef sold by Maine-based Hannaford Foods had been linked to a salmonella outbreak that sickened 14 people in seven states. On Dec. 15, the grocery chain announced the recall of all its in-store ground beef with a sell-by date of Dec. 17 or earlier. When officials stonewalled on basic questions, our reporters worked with dozens of sources, including food safety experts, former USDA employees, butchers, agriculture academics and the outbreak victims themselves to demonstrate how this one outbreak, the latest of scores of similar outbreaks nationwide, was a result of federal regulators and local retailers knowingly ignoring best practices that could have prevented the outbreak in the first place, or allowed investigators to trace the source of the salmonella contamination.
  • Hot Trucks

    Amidst widespread reports of food safety recalls and food borne illness outbreak, WTHR's "Hot Trucks" exposed a gaping hole in the safety net of our nation's food supply. The 6-month investigation revealed tons of meat, seafood, dairy products, produce, and other perishable food items are transported to grocery stores and restaurants every day under unsafe and unsanitary conditions that pose a serious health threat to millions of Americans.
  • Tucson Tragedy

    Within a few hours of the horrific shooting of 19 people, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, at a Tucson-area grocery, The Republic focused on two paramount questions in the investigative part of its coverage: What motive and circumstance drove the alleged shooter to act, and what enabled him to succeed? In the short amount of time they had, The Republic staff reached the community college where the alleged shooter had studied, contacted friends and found video and Internet postings of his.
  • The Blueberry Children

    This investigation reveals that child labor is still a large issue in the United States. They found children “as young as 5 years old” in the fields picking fruits and vegetables. The child labor laws are rarely enforced, which is why nothing was being done to stop this practice. Further, many of these children were picking blueberries, which were some of the largest blueberry fields and were supplying national grocery store chains.