Quality Control of Packaged Goods

Quantity Control Program

With California spending $136 billion each year for commodities sold by weight or measure, inspections and other regulatory activities by the Weights and Measures Inspector are very important. Accurate quantity representations are mandatory to ensure fair value comparison and to promote fair competition for industry. The Quantity Control Program fulfills these objectives by monitoring commerce at all levels (retail, wholesale and manufacturing) in order to minimize misrepresentations in measurement for both packaged and over-the-counter sales, and to ensure the accuracy of commodity pricing. Inspection and investigative activities are guided and authorized by the California Business and Professions Code (Division 5), the California Code of Regulations (Title 4), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (Handbooks 130 and 133).

Evaluation of quantity representations is carried out by a variety of standardized surveys, inspections and investigations. Packaged commodities are inspected to verify the accuracy of the net weight statement on both retail and wholesale packages. These items may be inspected at the point of packaging, distribution and wholesale, retail, or door-to-door sales. Unpackaged or bulk commodities, sold via a scale or other weighing or measuring devices, are also evaluated to assure that the transaction results in a charge based on the true net content of the commodity.
Price verification on the sale of commodities, whether by automatic or manual entry, is verified at the point-of-sale found in many areas of industry. These systems are inspected to assure that the consumer is charged accurately and receives the price advertised.

Enforcement of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act and the Uniform Packaging and Labeling Regulation

The regulation, as it appears in NIST Handbook 130, is another statutory responsibility of the Quantity Control Program. The purpose of this law and regulation is to provide accurate and adequate information on packages concerning the identity and quantity of contents so that purchasers can make price and quantity comparisons.

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