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Whole Foods to pay $500,000 in overcharging settlement

Whole Foods will pay $500,000 as part of a settlement with the Department of Consumer Affairs' investigation into the retailer’s mislabeling of pre-packaged products at NYC stores.

The settlement also requires:

  • Quarterly in-store audits of at least 50 products from 10 different departments at all NYC stores to help ensure products are accurately weighed and label and to correct all inaccuracies.
  • In the event that DCA inspectors identify mislabeled packaged food at a Whole Foods, the store must immediately remove mislabeled product and, within 15 days, Whole Foods must check the accuracy of that product’s pricing, as well as 20 additional products from the same department, at all NYC stores.
  • Implement and enforce policies and procedures that require employees to not estimate the weight of a package but rather individually weigh each package and only label the package with a label that is based on the weight of the actual contents.
  • Conduct trainings for all NYC employees who are involved in weighing and labeling products.

“After discovering the troubling and repeated mislabeling of pre-packaged goods at Whole Foods last year, we are happy to have reached an agreement with Whole Foods that will help to ensure New Yorkers are better protected from overcharging,” said DCA Commissioner Julie Menin, in a statement. “Whether it’s a bodega in the Bronx or a national grocery store in Manhattan, we believe every business needs to treat its customers fairly and, with this agreement, we hope Whole Foods will deliver on its promise to its customers to correct their mistakes. DCA will also continue its vigilance in making sure New Yorkers are protected every time they check out at the grocery.”

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