DATCP’s 2020 Inspections Show Wisconsin Businesses Measure Up

Bureau of Weights and Measures Releases 2020 Report During National Weights and Measures Week

Release Date: March 1, 2021

Media Contact: Ti Gauger, Public Information Officer, (608) 224-5007

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MADISON – According to a new report from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), confidence remains high that consumers get what they pay for at Wisconsin businesses. Throughout the year, DATCP inspectors tested product scales, registers, gas pumps, and fuel quality at stores around the state to ensure accuracy at every transaction point.

“During National Weights and Measures Week, we recognize the important role DATCP's inspectors, lab teams, and support staff play in ensuring a fair marketplace for Wisconsin consumers," said Lara Sutherlin, Administrator for DATCP's Division of Trade and Consumer Protection. “In 2020 businesses had to adapt and change quickly. Despite the many challenges they faced during the pandemic, they continued to maintain their scales, registers, and pumps to ensure accuracy and a fair transaction for consumers."

DATCP's weights and measures team conducted 252,782 inspections at 5,946 business locations statewide in 2020. Inspection results followed the trends of recent years:

  • Wisconsin gas pumps continued to provide the correct amount of fuel, or even over-deliver, in nearly 100% of our tests in 2020.
  • Prices at the register were also accurate or in the customer's favor in 98% of our tests.
  • Tests DATCP conducted on scales used to weigh products sold by weight (such as meat, deli, and produce items) were accurate or measured in the customer's favor almost 100% of the time.
  • Packaged products sold by weight (such as ground beef) were accurately labeled in almost 99% of tests.

Inspectors also tested 3,948 fuel samples for quality last year, and nearly 99% of the samples met the required national standards.

When inaccurate measurements or prices are identified, violations are reported to store management and orders are issued to correct the problem. In 2020, DATCP inspectors issued 4,413 of these orders and conducted 1,087 re-inspections to ensure that corrections were made.

If necessary, DATCP can also take steps toward higher-level enforcement.  In 2020, civil forfeiture settlements totaling $264,908 were collected from companies as a result of weights and measures inspections including fuel quality violations, product quantity misrepresentations, and weights and measures service company violations.

For additional information, or to file a weights and measures complaint, visit www.datcp.wi.gov, send an e-mail to datcpweightsandmeasures@wi.gov or call (608) 224-4942.


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