For Immediate Release - August 16, 2007

State Releases Annual Survey of Seafood Sales

Weights & scales checked; four seafood resellers cited for overcharging customers

BOSTON - August 16, 2007 - The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations' Division of Standards today released results from its recently completed survey of seafood sales across Massachusetts. The Division issued four citations to retailers who overcharged customers at the seafood counter.

"Seafood is expensive enough without having to worry whether or not you're getting a fair shake at your local supermarket," said Division of Standards Deputy Director Charles Carroll. "These spot-checks serve as a good reminder to store owners and shoppers alike to always be mindful of what's being weighed and the prices that show up on the scale."

Compliance Officers with the Division inspected 45 seafood resellers and made 145 trial purchases of lobsters, scallops and other seafood items. Inspectors issued four citations for overcharges stemming primarily from including packaging material weight in the total price. State law requires retailers to deduct the packaging weight so that consumers receive the net weight of the product.

Hanover Lobster & Seafood of Hanover was fined $150 for charging too much for lobster and scallops. Schermerhorns of Holyoke, K Seafood, Inc. of Randolph and George's Fish Market of Harwichport were each issued $75 citations.

Retailers must use scales that have been tested and approved by the Division as being accurate for commercial use. All direct-sales scales must be equipped with a weight display on the customer side of the scale. Shoppers are urged to look for the Division's red or green seal on the customer side of the scale and to contact the Division of Standards at (617) 727-3480 if they suspect they have been overcharged or believe a retailer is using an inaccurate or unapproved scale.