Weights & Measures protects consumers and businesses by ensuring the accuracy of commercial scales and measures at business locations across Minnesota, anywhere that products are sold by weight or volume. Founded in 1885, Weights & Measures has been building confidence in the marketplace for Minnesotans to get what you pay for.
Weights & Measures has multiple responsibilities, including:
- Checking accuracy of gas pumps for fuel quantity and fuel quality
- Checking that credit card readers at the pump have not been illegally fitted with skimmers used to steal credit card information
- Checking grocery food scales for accuracy
- Enforcing labeling and quantity of grocery and other food packages
- Regulating the sale and labeling of firewood
- Certifying weight-and-measure standards for private and government organizations
Consumer savings are realized in the form of paying precisely what you buy at the gas pump, at the deli, meat market, grocery or C-store, at a hardware store, a candy store, grain elevators and flour mills.
Businesses are protected through Weights & Measures by ensuring fair payment by their customers for any products that are weighed or measured.
Inaccurate scales at a grocery store or fuel at a gas pump can create surprisingly big losses, which could negatively impact the store or its customers. These errors might seem insignificant for a one-time purchase, but when used by consumers dozens of times per day, hundreds of times per month, and thousands of times per year, small errors lead to big impacts. Just one scale or weight that is inaccurate can lead to inaccurate charges to customers or losses for the business from hundreds to thousands of dollars per year.
What happens when a commercial scale or measure is tested and accurate?
The device that has passed inspection will have a sticker from the Minnesota Department of Commerce verifying it has been tested and found correct.
What happens when a commercial scale or measure is not accurate?
Typically, about one in seven devices, audits and packages need corrections because of Weights & Measures inspection findings, and about one in 10 will need to be removed from the marketplace until they are corrected.
How often are scales and pumps inspected?
The schedule for Weights & Measures is to inspect each scale or pump about once every two years. If a consumer or business complaint is filed about a scale or pump, Weights & Measures will respond within a day or two to have the scale or pump tested.