Packaged CommoditiesThis program visits distributors and retailers to audit the contents of packaged products. The contents must equal the amount stated on the label. Routine inspections of meat counters, bakeries, and deli sections of supermarkets are conducted. Samples of packages are taken and re-weighed using the county’s scale. The labeled amount and the true net contents are compared. Some commodities require special test methods and are given certain allowances for moisture loss and individual variances are factored in.
Every type of commodity is subject to quantity control inspection, not just food items. Categories of commodities tested include: bread and bakery items, cheese and dairy products, farm products and supplies, building materials and maintenance supplies, feed and grain, and automotive and industrial lubricants, chemicals, and cleaners.
Were you charged the lowest advertised price? Bar code readers, scanners, and price look-up systems have replaced individual prices on items. Price verification consists of periodic simulated purchases at businesses utilizing scanners, or point-of- sale systems, in an effort to eliminate unfair competition and “bait and switch” activities. This area has become more important because many or all stores of national chains determine their pricing through a central computer; an error in one store is an error in them all.
Test purchases of other commodities, such as deli items, health foods, and hardware are also conducted, as are test sales of recyclables. Firewood dealers are required to leave an invoice with their name, address, date and amount of wood delivered. Any shortage from the amount invoiced is a violation.