by Jim Nintzel
It appears that the tortilla biz is a bit of a racket, judging from this press release from Arizona Department of Weights & Measures:
Arizona consumers may be disappointed after reviewing the latest inspection results of packaged tortillas conducted this month by the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures. State Investigators found nearly 20 % of the locations inspected failed their audit due to short weight violations and packages containing fewer tortillas than advertised.
In all, over 8,473 packages of tortillas of various varieties were audited statewide from October 2nd through October 15, 2013. Investigators visited 36 retail businesses all over Arizona ranging from grocery stores, specialty grocery, big box locations and membership businesses. Inspections incorporated verifying the net weight of the tortillas as compared to what was advertised, and counting individual tortillas to verify the count as advertised on the product label.
Of the 36 locations inspected, 7 stores were cited for short weight product violations which resulted in the entire stock being removed from the sales floor and civil penalties levied in the amount of $4,000. The vast majority of assessed violations were issued primarily to out of state tortilla manufactures and a few local supermarkets who packed their own in-house tortillas.
Over 80 different brands of tortilla products in all shapes and sizes were audited such as: Mission, Guerrero, Carlita’s, La Canasta, Alejandros and Dos Ranchitos to name a few.
“We are discouraged by these results knowing that the manufacturers and retail stores are clearly not maintaining strong adherence to federal and state packaging regulations,” stated Kevin Tyne, Director of the Department of Weights and Measures, “the goal for every manufacturer should be to meet or exceed the stated weight on their product.”
A list of the retail store locations and packaged tortilla products found in violation:
➢ Bashas Food City - Tucson Dos Ranchitos 72 count and 30 count
➢ Costco —Tucson Guerrero corn tortillas twin pack 5 lb
➢ Bashas Food City- Tucson Food City 30 count corn
➢ Safeway — Tempe Alejandros 10 count flour
➢ Costco - Avondale Guerrero corn twin pack 2 X 50 count
➢ Safeway - Tucson Safeway white corn 72 count
➢ Wal-Mart - Tucson Great Value corn 72 count