Families pay price as shops sell underweight food, survey suggests

Families pay price as Scotland survey shows shops selling underweight food including 340g of sirloin beef that actually weighed 277.7g and an 800g loaf of bread that was 713.6g… and it could cost us £130,000 a week

  • Supermarkets are shortchanging the public on food items, research shows 
  • Trading Standards suggests there is reason to question the accuracy of labels
  • This includes popular items like bread, ready meals, chicken and beef
  • For example sirloin beef with a stated weight of 340g was actually 277.7g 

Shoppers face putting less food on the table after research showed supermarkets are shortchanging the public on popular items such as bread, ready meals, chicken and beef.

A survey by Trading Standards suggests there is reason to question the accuracy of labels – with one example 23 per cent below the stated weight.

Its officers carried out checks on packaged goods at 39 stores and supermarkets throughout the West of Scotland, with under-weight products identified during 17 visits.

A survey by Trading Standards suggests there is a reason to question the accuracy of labels with one example being 23 per cent below the stated weight 

Sirloin beef with a stated weight of 340g was actually 277.7g, an 800g loaf of bread was 713.6g, chicken breast fillets with a label stating 430g were actually 398.9g, and one ready meal with a claimed weight of 400g actually came in at 344.4g.

Officers checked 296 products with 24 found to contain short-weight packs. A total of 2,496 individual packs within these product lines were looked at, and 71 (3 per cent) were found to be short weight. Trading Standards did not name the stores involved.

David MacKenzie, of the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland, said during the cost of living crisis ‘accurate measurement of products is more important than ever’ so shoppers were not left out of pocket.

The Trading Standards Institute said one packing firm supplying half-a-million ready meals a week was found to have deficiencies of up to 14 per cent – a loss of 26p per pack.

It added: ‘Taken to the extreme… the total collective detriment to consumers could be as high as £130,000 per week, or £6.76million per year.’

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