What steps can I take to prevent being shorted on a weighing or measuring device?
Make sure the device is on a level surface and that you can see the display. The instrument must start at zero. There should not be anything touching the device. Watch the person doing the weighing or measuring to make sure that nothing extra is added. Verify that there is a current Weights and Measures seal on the device.
When I buy products at the deli counter, am I paying for the container? How would I know?
Any type of deli item must be sold on a net weight basis. Selling a product by gross weight (net weight plus tare weight) is illegal. The weight of the container is called "tare" and is not included in the net weight. Almost all scales now in use at deli counters are of the digital computing type and show the weight of the product, the price per pound, and the total selling price on a digital display that faces the customer. Additionally, the customary practice in most stores is to assign a store code to each item. Information included in this code, which is stored in the scale, contains the name of the item, the price per pound, and the correct tare weight for the container which should be used. So when you want to purchase an item, the counter person will enter the store code for your item and the display panel will show the selling price and the weight display should show a negative number which represents the container or tare weight being zeroed off the scale. If you do not see this negative number displayed when the code is entered, you may be paying for the container and should report this to the Sealer of Weights and Measures.