Turkey weights found to be accurate

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Ever wonder if you’re getting your money’s worth when you shop for that Thanksgiving turkey?

Well, the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures has some good news for shoppers. After inspecting thousands of birds at local grocery stores, officials found that turkey weight and pricing are right on the mark.

The Department targeted one or two stores at 14 different supermarket chains across the state to audit proper accounting of the turkey net weight, and price per pound.

To ensure proper weight and pricing, the inspections involved thawing frozen turkeys and removing a variety of non-edible items, including plastic leg bands, metal clips, wire mesh, gravy bags, giblet bags and pop up timers.

Once those items are removed, the turkey is then weighed and compared to the stated weight on the label as advertised on the bird. Retailers are not allowed to include “non-edible” weight to the price.

More than 2,000 turkeys were audited during the inspections at several neighborhood stores, including  Albertsons, Bashas', Fresh and Easy, Fry's, Safeway, Smart and Final, Sprouts, Trader Joe's, Wal-Mart, and WinCo.

No civil penalties of short weight turkeys were cited. And all stores indicated strong overall compliance scores on turkey pricing and accurate weight.

"It is quite evident that the hard work and commitment of Arizona grocers to ensure accuracy has paid off and customers can shop with confidence this year," said Kevin Tyne, Director of the Department of Weights and Measures, "It is heartening to see these outstanding results on the heels of our cooperative training efforts last year at grocery stores" he added.

Last year, Weights and Measures specifically worked with many of these same Arizona retail grocery stores to instruct workers in the industry how to establish proper weight. They then returned this year to audit the stores to ensure compliance with state laws and pricing regulations.

Establishing an accurate weight of turkeys is important because cooking times are often calculated by the accurate weight of the bird. Thus, any inaccurate weight could result in undercooked turkeys affecting the health of the person consuming the bird.