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Weights and Measures – A Consumer’s Line of Defense
How do you know that bagged lettuce at the store actually weighs 10 ounces? What about that bag of apples, a box of macaroni, or a candy bar? The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Division of Weights and Measures is the consumer’s line of defense when it comes to the declared contents of a packaged good. We randomly and routinely sample prepackaged items for inspection to ensure you are getting what is advertised. This is accomplished by performing package and labeling inspections throughout the state at different types of businesses and on different types of products.
Packaged commodities of every kind offered or exposed for sale or in the process of delivery are inspected in retail and wholesale establishments throughout Louisiana by Weights & Measures inspectors to determine whether they contain the amounts represented and whether they are offered for sale in accordance with Weights & Measures Law. See LRS 3:4607 C. and LRS 3:4613.
Packaged commodities must be labeled with the following:
- Identity – The name of the product
- Responsibility – Name and address or website of the manufacturer or packer
- Quantity – Net contents of the product
If the item is sold using an automated price lookup system, the accurate price must also be correctly posted.
Now, back to that bag of lettuce. It says 10 ounces, but 10 ounces of what? The declared net weight of an item is to include only the weight of the item for sale. In this case, lettuce. So, you should be paying for 10 ounces of lettuce and lettuce only, not the weight of the bag, stickers, labels, or anything else.
The Division of Weights and Measures also investigates complaints about packaged goods. If you would like to file a complaint, you can do so using our online WEIGHTS & MEASURES COMPLAINT FORM (jotform.com) or by calling 225-925-3780.