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Company Fined For Overcharging Consumers

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LANSING (WWJ) - The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) has fined a Colorado-based company for shorting consumers buying their boneless, skinless chicken breast singles, which are sold at Sams Clubs Stores across the state.

A consent agreement was issued to Pilgrim’s Pride with fines and restitution totaling $7,000 and a probationary period of two years.

Keith Creagh, MDARD Director, said a customer alerted the organization to the problem and inspectors confirmed consumers were being overcharged.

The consumer complaint, filed July 6, alleged that the Pilgrim’s Pride Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Singles they had purchased at a local Sam’s Club was short-weight, meaning the package contained less than it was labeled and led to a consumer over-charge of 28 cents.

On July 6, purchases at two Sam’s Club locations were conducted and both purchases were found to be short-weight. The next day, an MDARD inspection at Sam’s Club revealed that 34 of 34 (100%) packages tested weighed less than the quantity represented; with an average negative error of 0.099 lb. and an average overcharge to customers of 27 cents per container.

An internal inquiry at the company revealed an error had been made on the tare weight – the weight of the packaging – for the packages starting in March. In Michigan, consumers cannot be charged for tare weight. The investigation determined that 22,437 packages had been sold in Michigan between March and July.

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