The “beer and bangers police” are going undercover at bars and butchers around the country to ensure consumers aren’t being ripped off by under pouring or incorrect weights.
National Measurement Institute staff will pose as customers at premises including bars, butchers and supermarkets, conducting random audits to check that everything from kilos of sausages to pints of beer are being sold in the correct quantities.
In 2017-18, around a third of audited businesses were found to have breached measurement guidelines. That included more than 30 licensed premises around the country being caught under pouring spirits in cocktails.
This year the “mystery shoppers” will visit an extra 2000 premises, with fines for selling incorrect amounts ranging from $1000 up to $210,000.
More than 50 fines totalling $65,250 were issued in the last financial year.
Federal Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the government recognises every dollar counts and it wants to make sure “you’re getting what you pay for”.
“We want to make sure that when you go to the pub your beer is full, when you buy a kilo of mince it’s a kilo and when you’re putting fuel in the car you’re getting every drop that you should,” she told 2GB.
“When we’re short-changed it’s usually small amounts, but if it happens enough times it really adds up.”
“You’re taking at face value what’s written on the label, so if it says 1kg it needs to be 1kg. There is an obligation for supermarkets and other retail outlets to make sure their measuring equipment, whether by scale or volume, is accurate.
“We’re out there now giving fair notice to retailers that they’ll potentially be hit with significant auditing, so they’ve got the opportunity to rectify themselves.”