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Food Fraud - Underweight Raw Ingredients?

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NCooper

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Posted 25 March 2024 - 02:58 PM

If we receive raw ingredients that are underweight, would that be considered food fraud?

For example, a truckload of Cane Sugar is 850 bags of 50 pound bags of sugar (42,500 lbs total)

My contract price is $0.65 per pound and I was invoiced for and paid for the full truckload (42,500 lbs)

We found the bags weighed out to be 47.5 lbs, not 50 lbs. So we paid for 2000 pounds of sugar we didn't get. 

Could that be considered food fraud or just a supply chain problem? 

I'm wondering could the same be considered if we purchase drums of fruit juice (550 lbs) but only ended up receiving 535 lbs, for example. 

 

 



SQFconsultant

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Posted 25 March 2024 - 04:00 PM

Sometimes it's just a simple mistake where an operator keyed in the wrong weights for the dumpers to put into the bags and considering that is was not this bag here and that bag there, I'd say it sounds like it is just an operator error.

 

If it were to keep on happening however I'd be leaning to fraud for economic gain - so I'd be contacting the producer and seeing whats up with that.

 

I remember a situation when I used to inspect Sam's Clubs and was informed by a Club Manager that a certain ice supplier was shorting their 10 pound bags of ice by 1/2 lb - an it was happening at all locations to the tune of over a million bags of ice cubes - it was drilled down and found to be an operator error. 

 

It isn't always about fraud.


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NCooper

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Posted 25 March 2024 - 04:25 PM

Okay, thank you! I thought it might be more that but wanted to check. 



G M

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Posted 25 March 2024 - 07:54 PM

... I'd say it sounds like it is just an operator error.

 

If it were to keep on happening however I'd be leaning to fraud for economic gain ...

 

Short a ton sounds like more than just an 'oops'.  It's nearly 5% off.

 

Maybe they didn't do it intentionally, but it is still worth mentioning.



Ryan M.

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Posted 25 March 2024 - 09:01 PM

Not food fraud per say, but of course you want to go back to your supplier and let them know you won't be paying the full contract.  Sometimes this can get into sticky negotiations with supplier so tread carefully, but at least inform them.



Totes716

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Posted 25 March 2024 - 10:11 PM

We had a packaging manufacturer do the same thing to us.  All you need to do is find someone in fiscal side of your company and explain the situation in writing with lots of pictures.  If the vendor doesn't immediately capitulate and bend over backwards to help you, then you have a problem vendor who is looking to get sued.  The evidence is incredibly blatant.  



GMO

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Posted 26 March 2024 - 02:55 AM

Interesting question! While I’d say that’s not been the intent of food fraud standards, if you were a fraudster, that’s the simplest fraud to commit. If found say “oops”. No test is going to pick up adulteration…. Clever. Sneaky…. Worth including in plans I’d suggest.



jfrey123

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Posted 26 March 2024 - 06:11 AM

Did you really weigh all 850 bags individually?  And was your scale tared to the weight of the bags themselves?  I'd stop short of jumping to fraud (I'm with the others that it's likely an operator error), but for sure you have a reason to file an official complaint with the supplier and demand a corrective action.  It affects your ability to participate in a trace or recall if need be, as you recorded receipt of the full weight but cannot then account for the "loss" of that weight once you get into production.



woodspro

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Posted 26 March 2024 - 03:41 PM

Sounds to me like a receiving issue. So much can be done if you catch it before the truck leaves your facility. You can either reject the shipment or adjust the weight on what you actually received. You can use the truck in the parking lot as leverage. We do it all the time. 

 

Just add checking the weight of a few sample bags to your receiving procedure. 





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