The Tennessee Depart-ment of Agriculture celebrated weights and measures week March 1-7. This year’s theme was “Collaborating with Par-tners and Stakeholders for a Greater Measure of Equity.”
“Our weights and measures inspectors work to make sure you get what you pay for,” said TDA Commissioner Dr. Charlie Hatcher. “Consumers may not think about it, but many consumer goods are bought and sold by measure. Whether it’s at the grocery store, airport, or gas pump, our inspectors are ensuring those scales are properly calibrated and the pricing is accurate.”
Weights and measures officials report that shoppers are surprised to learn that in addition to checking scales during a grocery store inspection, the inspector checks Universal Product Code (UPC) price verification scanners. Inspectors randomly choose products from shelves and scan the bar codes. The price of the product is then verified at the register to ensure the price matches. Inspectors also check signage, advertisements, and price computations to make sure consumers are not misled.
TDA inspectors follow nationally adopted best practices and adhere to the highest standards. TDA is responsible for ensuring the specifications, tolerances, and other technical requirements are met for commercial weighing and measuring devices at 11,827 locations across Tennessee. These devices include fuelpumps, scales, bulk meters, and liquefied petroleum gas meters. Since July 1, 2022, weights and measures officials have conducted 9,663 inspections.
The Julius T. Johnson State Metrology Laboratory on the Ellington Agricultural Campus in Nashville maintains and houses the primary standards of mass, volume, and length for the state. The lab offers calibration services using the most current equipment and testing capabilities.
Tennessee is a member of the National Conference on Weights and Measures, a professional nonprofit association of state and local weights and measures officials, federal agencies, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. The association has developed national weights and measures standards since 1905.