Package Inspection

Quality ControlMost transactions involving the exchange of goods involve some form of weighing and measuring. The Shasta County Quantity Control program provides regular, systematic inspection of packaged commodities for correct quantity and labeling.

Audits are conducted on packaged goods at packers, distributors, and retailers to assure the correct weight, measure, or count is declared. Net contents statements are checked for accuracy on commodities such as packaged meat, deli items, bread and bakery goods, cheese and dairy products, building materials and supplies, feed and grain, automotive products, and thousands of other items the consumer purchases in pre-packaged quantities.

Package labeling is also examined for compliance with the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act for basic labeling requirements such as identity of product, net contents, and responsible party.

What you can do:

  • Check that purchases you make from door-to-door salespeople comply with labeling requirements. For instance, the price per pound, net weight, and total price must be stated on pre-packaged meat.
  • Check that you are paying only for the commodity and not the packaging on items such as deli purchases. The weight of the packaging (tare weight) must be deducted from the gross weight.
  • Purchases from farmers markets and roadside vendors must be by weight or count. Produce such as berries must be in standard berry baskets. Random sized packages (such as $2.00 a bag) are not allowable.
  • Insist on a receipt for firewood purchases. Make sure you save any information advertising price per cord and supplying sellers name, address or phone number. Try to be present when firewood is delivered. For more information on firewood click here.

Our range of duties includes:

  • Regular inspections at stores that package their own commodities to assure labeling and weight statements are correct.
  • Periodic participation in state-wide audits of packaged commodities for correct weight, measure or count.
  • Investigating consumer complaints about slack fill, insufficient tare, or misleading labeling.
  • Helping businesses to comply with the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.
  • Investigating firewood complaints.

Quantity Complaint Form

Quantity Control Links

Quantity Control Information at the California Department of Measurement Standards

Quantity Control FAQs

What is tare weight?

Tare, or tare weight, is the weight of a bag, soaker, ice, packaging, wrapping, box, bin, pallet, truck, or any material not considered product or part of the net weight. Tare weight plus net weight equals gross weight. Selling by gross weight or measure is a misdemeanor (Business & Professions Code 12023).

What should I do if I think I have received an underweight packaged commodity or received less than I paid for?

The first thing to do is to get as much information as possible. If at a gas station, write down the pump number and grade of gas. If at a store write down the check stand number or the aisle number where the item is located and the address of the establishment. Gather any other information you think might be pertinent. Call the County Department of Weights and Measures with this information. The inspector will ask for your name, address and daytime phone number since this information will assist in the investigation, however, you may remain anonymous if you wish. Complaints are vital to our department. We take all complaints very seriously, and we respond to each complaint as quickly as possible.