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Woolworths has responded to a customer who complained that a pack of chicken breast fillets from the supermarket weighed less than what was advertised on the packaging.
The customer shared a TikTok video in which he measured the Woolworths RSPCA Approved Chicken pack on his home scales.
In the video, the man points out that the label on the packet states that the chicken fillets weigh 806 grams. However, when he put the raw chicken breast on the scales, he found the meat only weighed 756 grams - 50 grams less than advertised.
It was only when the shopper added the absorbent pad from the packaging tray to the scales that he found the weight totalled 806g.
In the video, the shopper said he was "p***ed off" that 6 per cent of the weight of the product was taken up by the meat soak pad.
At $12 per kilogram, this means that the customer paid an extra 60 cents because of the weight of the absorbent pad.
Despite the video first circulating in 2020, the issue gained traction once again this week on social media, prompting Woolworths to step in.
Woolworths defends chicken product weight measurements
A Woolworths spokesperson defended the supermarket's weight measurements, assuring customers that all chicken products are weighed by suppliers prior to distribution.
"Prior to customers taking the product home, liquid from the meat will naturally transfer to the absorbent pad at the bottom of the packaging," said the spokesperson.
"We have a range of checks and balances in place to ensure our products comply with strict trade measurement requirements."
Woolworths encourages customers who are concerned about the weight of a product to return it for a refund.
How do meat soak pads work?
Meat soak pads are designed to soak up the liquids from meat, poultry and seafood to prevent them from pooling in the package and to maintain freshness.
While soak pads weigh less than 10g prior to being added to packaging, they increase in weight as they accumulate more liquid from the meat product.
This means that while the chicken likely weighed 806g when it was packed at the supplier, 50g liquid was absorbed by the soak pad by the time the customer brought it home.
Woolworths products are audited regularly and checked for their compliance to net weight requirements by the Federal Government's trade measurement regulator, the National Measurement Institute.
There are many regulations that supermarkets must adhere to, with consequences for breaches. This includes calibration checks to ensure accuracy of scales.
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