NEW YORK, NY—Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Julie Menin today announced a settlement agreement with Whole Foods. The agreement, which settles DCA’s investigation into the supermarket’s mislabeling of pre-packaged products, requires Whole Foods to:
- Pay $500,000.
- Conduct quarterly in-store audits of at least 50 products from 10 different departments at all New York City stores to help ensure products are accurately weighed and labeled, and to correct all inaccuracies.
- In the event that DCA inspectors identify mislabeled pre-packaged foods at a Whole Foods Store, that store must immediately remove all mislabeled products 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 New York City stores.
- Implement and enforce policies and procedures that require employees 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 New York City 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. “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.”
DCA regularly inspects all of the city’s supermarkets for labeling, scanner and scale accuracy, and pricing. This settlement agreement resolves DCA’s investigation of the labeling of pre-packaged products in the company’s New York City stores, which DCA originally announced in June 2015.