Whole Foods Fined For Overcharging Customers
Whole Foods has agreed to pay some $800,000 in fines after it was found to be overcharging customers in California.
Foods bought at the supermarket weighed less than advertised, inspectors discovered.
Meanwhile, the weight of salad bar containers was not subtracted at checkouts.
The retailer was also selling prepared foods by the item rather than by weight, as legally required.
Prosecutors said the pricing discrepancies breached consumer protection laws.
Whole Foods must pay $210,000 each to three city prosecutors who brought the case in Santa Monica, Los Angeles and San Diego.
The supermarket chain must compensate the county and state agencies which conducted the year-long investigation.
It must also pay $100,000 to a weights and measurements enforcement fund.
All 74 Whole Foods stores in California now face quarterly audits.
The Austin, Texas-based retailer issued a statement that said its prices were accurate 98% of the time.
"While we realize that human error is always possible, we will continue to refine and implement additional processes to minimize such errors going forward," said a company spokeswoman, Beth Krauss.