AZ inspectors chew on discrepancies in meat prices - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

AZ inspectors chew on discrepancies in meat prices

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Arizona consumers and businesses may be incorrectly charged for meat and other products at local butcher and specialty meat shops.

The finding comes from Arizona Department of Weights and Measures. The agency examined the pricing practices, proper labeling of packages, as well as accuracy and licensing of meat scales at 18 butcher shops throughout the state from July through September.

According to the agency's news release, results from the 19 butcher shops around the state indicate several areas that need to be addressed:

  • Inspectors checked prices on 2,931 products and found 114 items (4 percent) incorrect or without any price available to customers.
  • At the cash register, inspectors scanned 175 products, 37 of which did not scan as advertised (a 21 percent failure rate). Of these 37 violations, 21 items amounted to $10.56 in overcharges, while the other 16 violations were undercharges benefiting the customer to the tune of $9.90.
  • There were 136 random audits of various packages sold in the specialty meat shops as conducted by inspectors, 57 of those packaging audits failed. This included a total review of 1,326 individual items such as cheese, packaged meat, chorizo or other products which were individually weighed and reviewed for net weight and other required label information.
  • Inspectors tested 78 commercial scales and found 33 of the scales were out of tolerance, though most violations (10) were scales that underweighed merchandise to the benefit of the customer.

The agency emphasized Arizona law requires all goods offered for sale must have the price posted on or near them, and the same price must match at the retail cash registers or UPC scanner.

As part of the auditing process, the stores are given no advance notice of coming inspections. All items weighed and sold at the register must include deductions for things like protective wrap, plastic bag, bag closure device and rubber bands.

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