Ripped off at Walmart – Money Saving lesson learned

For the past few years I have purchased my boneless skinless chicken breasts from places like Albertsons, Zaycon, Costco and every once in awhile even Walmart. My favorite place being Zaycon as the quality and prices are amazing + they deliver 40 lbs. of chicken at once nationwide — gotta love that!

The last few times I have came home from Walmart with a package of chicken breasts I got this feeling like something just wasn’t right.

The styrofoam package and the little juice-soaker-upper thingy (I know… real technical) felt almost as heavy as the chicken breasts inside. I had this nagging feeling that I was getting ripped off.

So last week when I brought home another package of chicken from Walmart I decided to go with my gut and actually weigh the chicken and package.

In the store the price said $2.09 per lb. That’s an okay price – I usually get better deals at Zaycon.

Here is the package I brought home.

2013-09-26 15.38.34

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I paid $10.74 for the package.  It says there is 5.14 lbs of chicken. At $2.09 per lb the price is correct.

So the first thing I did was to set the whole package on the scale to see if it was 5.14 lbs.

2013-09-26 15.40.44

Ummm…nope! It weighs 4.938 lbs.  So right there the price is off. I measured a few other items to make sure my scale was accurate first and it was.

I did read on the packaging it says “Contains up to 15% natural chicken broth.” I was assuming that it was injected into the chicken breasts or something, but I noticed a TON of chicken juices in this package. I think that is kind of weasly, don’t you?

Next I decided to take out all the chicken and see how much that weighed by itself.

2013-09-26 15.42.17 2013-09-26 15.43.32

This is all the chicken in the package. I tared the scale and then put the chicken on the scale.

3.97 lbs.

I knew it. Oh the humanity. I was irritated and annoyed at this point. I should have only paid $7.92 for this package at $2.09 per lb.

Still,  I wanted to weigh just the package and juice-soaker-upper thingie.

2013-09-26 15.44.27

This weighed almost exactly ONE pound.

So…that $2.09 per pound price is now $2.71 per pound.

Sneaky sneaky packaging.

I feel cheated. Duped. Bamboozled (yeah, I just went there. ) I wanted to run to my computer and share this all right away. But I was nervous. I mean posting online that I was ripped off at Walmart? What if I got the Oprah treatment? (sued)

Well, just in case, I will leave this little disclaimer…this problem may have only been at my local store and not chain wide.

One Week Later

I bought chicken again, this time I happened to be at Winco. The chicken was priced at $2.09 per lb again.

IMG_2414  IMG_2415

On the package it says it should be 4.04 lbs, but it was actually 4.15 lbs! Way to go Winco…you actually considered the weight of the packaging!

When I weighed the chicken it was spot on at 4.04 lbs. Their styrofoam package was not nearly as heavy as the Wally world one. Sheesh.

So anyways, I was going to say to always avoid these kinds of packages and just go for either the frozen bags at Costco or fresh from a deli. But Winco surprised me that they actually are honest in their policies of weighing the meat.  (Big slow clap for Winco!)

As for Walmart – I didn’t call customer service or complain to them in store.  We ate the $3.00 lb. chicken and it was tasty. No problems in the quality of the product, the problem I have is the jacking up of the price because of the packaging dishonesty.

I plan on going in again with my scale and see if it happens again. And if it does I will complain.

So watch out for chicken cheats and always try to get what you paid for because if you’re not careful you may end up paying over two dollars for a piece of slimy chicken juice packaging.

Oh and question everything my friends. If you feel something is wrong, it probably is.

Here are other posts you might like for saving money this time of year:

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Comments

  1. Mel Proper says:

    Thanks for posting this! I live in a rural area with only a couple of grocery shopping options. I almost always buy the Walmart chicken you posted for $2.09/lb, and it’s very rare to find BLSL chicken breasts cheaper around here. I’m going to check the next package I buy to see how much actual chicken I’m getting for the price. If I find the same thing as you, I won’t have an issue paying a higher price per pound for a different brand.

    • OK let me tell you what to do call the Dept of weights and measures. All stores are required by law to only charge for the weight of the product. All scales are tested yearly with weights ranging from 1/2 to 5 lbs. There is a hefty fine for violations. I would weigh your chicken before you bye it the next time. I work in Seafood and have had people come to me and ask to have pkgs weighed.

      • Daveydav27 says:

        The bad part is, the individual Walmart stores do not package their own meat. It is brought in pre-packaged from from their distribution centers, so “fresh” meat is something that you are not really getting from Walmart anyways. I personally do not shop Walmart for personal reasons I will not delve into here. I always shop at local stores that have an actual meat counter, and shop at stores that support local farmers, and growers. If you are unsure where the meat comes from, you can ask the butcher or whomever is working in that department, and they will let you know where it is sourced from.

        • Bron Zeage says:

          The reason Walmart does not package their own chicken is because the meat packers union made a move to organize Walmart butcher departments. The butchers were laid off and all meat comes packaged by the distributor, ready for the shelf. The cool part about the pound of moisture absorbent is Walmart paid for that, too.

          • As a former Walmart Distribution employee, I’m not defending them at all, but you’ve given false information. My dad just retired out of the Walmart meat department and he was hired in as a meat cutter. No one was laid off when they made the switch. They did it to save money as it was cheaper to buy prepackaged than to pay meat cutter wages. No one’s wages were cut when this happened either.

          • The thing is…NO ONE should have to pay for it =(

      • I used to be a meat cutter at winco, many years ago, and the weight of the packaging has to be subtracted (Tare Weight) It is very embarassing to a store when Weights and Measures show up and closed the meat counter with a sign standing in the counter. This did not happen at winco, but I have seen it in other stores. They also check the ground beef by cooking it, with equipment that separates the fat and the water from the beef, and if it does not come up to what the statement on the label says (15% fat) the counter is also closed. I think that started because ice was being ground with the beef and you paid for the water in the ground beef…and it makes it a bright red, and appealing.

      • They need to be reported. Probably what is going on is the old weigh and package while frozen. And as we all know frozen water weighs quite a bit more than liquid water.
        Ralphs grocery store chain got in big trouble for doing this a few years ago when someone reported them and they had to stop the rip-off practice. I suggest doing this for this store…it’s NOT legal.

        • Okay, I hear you all! I will try to contact them and let them know, then update this post. I just get frustrated with trying to contact company owners sometimes.

          • 1-800-walmart if they get 3 complaint from the same store on the same product supposedly ou will probably get more action by going to the media.

            I NEVER use an email address so that wont do you any good. I havent checked it in probably 6-8 months.

        • Someone who knows. says:

          Firstly frozen or liquid a certain volume of water weights the same. Second the WM chicken pictured comes into the stores from Tyson foods. It is prepackaged and pre-priced. During shipping and placement holes occur, so some of that “chicken broth”‘ (salt water) leaks out. They call the process of adding water plumping. You may save a little money but you’re buying 15% of the total weight in water. Watch what you buy, read the lable and ingredients list. For instance there are 100% ground beef burgers, and beef patties which are made with beef hearts and textured soy protein. Caveat Emptor.

          • gfbrandenburg says:

            Actually a given volume of ice has a slightly lower weight or mass than the same volume of liquid water. It’s one of the very few liquids that actually expands when it freezes. Which is why ice floats instead of sinking.

        • Frozen water weighs more than liquid water? WHAT?

          If you have a pound of water and freeze it, it’s still going to weight a pound. It’s not going to suddenly convert energy into mass and weigh more.

          Frozen water is actually less dense than liquid water. Meaning that the same weight of water, when frozen, will take up more space than it did when liquid. So by volume, frozen water actually weighs less than liquid water. That’s why ice floats.

        • Frozen water does not weigh more than liquid water. It occupies more space than liquid water and could be said to weigh less for a given volume.

        • “frozen water weighs quite a bit more than liquid water.”, this is untrue. Although the density(mass per volume) of water and ice are different (ice is less), if you weigh a kilogram of ice then let it thaw it will still weigh the same. Mass has to be conserved. Volume does not however and this is why ice floats.

        • 1 pound of water frozen will equal 1 pound of ice. Not sure why you think ice is heavier than water. It does not gain any more molecules….Just saying.

        • Larry Gist says:

          Are you REALLY that stupid? One pound of water, when frozen will yield one pound of ice, the MASS will be more as water expands when frozen (it will take up more space) but NOT more weight. I hope you are not reproducing…

        • When you say “as we all know” you should make sure what follows it is actually true, or you end up looking a bit silly, such as in this case.

        • lol they weigh the same

        • um… where in the world did you get the idea that frozen water weighs more than liquid water? freezing does NOT change the weight of something! And if you go by volume, the same volume (like, a cup) of frozen water weighs LESS than a cup of liquid water because water EXPANDS when you freeze it. (not shouting, just emphasizing, ive just never heard anyone say this before, so im surprised. As to the rest, i wont buy chicken thats 15 percent salt water, that is way too much money for something that, if i wanted to, i could add myself. Not to mention a lot of adulterated foods make me physically ill.

        • I don’t know which weighs more, or if they are the same, but if you happen to drop the frozen chicken on your foot while removing it from the freezer, it feels like it weighs 5 times more.

        • frozen water does not weigh more than liquid water. really?

    • mary gonzalez says:

      The difference in the stores wights might be that in alot of stores the meat comes pre packed. They are supposed to use a tare which is discounting the packaging. Many stores may not do this. Might want to check.

      • even if the stores themselves try to use a tare (which is actually weighing the packaging first then zeroing it out and weighing the food in the packaging) its impossible for them to know how much moisture is going to leach out of the meat and into the absorbent pad. That said, the weight on that package was off in every way, so i would definately take issue with that. weigh in store, just to see if the majority are off, or if its just that brand or whatever, then throw a fit if its the whole store, cause that is fraud, straight up. I like walmart for a few things, i prefer the flavor in some of their store brand offerings and the price of their canned and prepackaged foods, but i wont buy meats from them, cause of what i said in previous comments.

    • You might have more options than you think. This is a good resource I like to use to help people find local, fresh food in your area: http://www.localharvest.org/

  2. I to have noticed this using the Walmart brand meat. Matter of fact I said something to my hubby about it. He just laughed at me. I was upset so no longer buy meat there.Walmart is no longer the Walmart it was 10 years ago. The family has strayed from Mr. Walmart( who passed and left the company to family members) would be so upset seeing what has happened. They are no longer buy in America either. Look at your canned veggies see where they come from. I’ve got a huge Mushroom growing place near me but the cans with Walmart brand come from China. Now who wants food from China? No me and I hope not you. They try to kill their own babies with bad baby food ,cats and dogs with bad food why not us with bad food. Go figure good way to get rid of us.Just my thoughts come to your own conclusion.

    • Watervendor says:

      Funny thing is their life expectancy by WHO isn’t that much lower than USA after they got out of self-induced poverty 2, 3 decades ago lol. In any case you’re right, walmart does import too much of their food.

    • your post reeks of generalization and idiocy, you seriously think america is any better?

      • Oh yeah- I think America is better. It’s a big factor in why I’m here. Why may I ask are you here?

        • George,

          It is a big factor why America is what it is for people like you- losing its international importance due to disagreement in Congress and the public in general. I believe you need to rethink your statement and stop generalizing any culture. Grow-up and step up to the fact. if you do not get your facts and figures right you will be stripped naked in public looking like an idiot. True we should buy American and I do that myself, but not at the expense of abusing someone’s country or culture. America is a great nation and a wonderful country, but it is also the Land of the Migrants. So stop chewing your damn bloody ideas and do reconsider your thoughts. Take care!!!

    • Yeah you’re right we just stick to spraying movie theaters and schools with bullets. I guess that makes us better

  3. My family and I have strayed from Walmart as well for some of the very same reasons as stated. In addition, do some checking as to the conditions for those who work in their shops and manufacture their line of clothing, I think you will be surprised. I stopped buying clothing from them a while ago. At times the one stop shopping seems so convenient and I think that is where they have gotten me in the past. Not any more though, It takes more time and gas to travel but I want to spend my “honest earned buck” at a store whose integrity falls in line with my families.

    Maybe if enough of us are willing to be inconvenienced and take a stand against the practice of deceit, stores such as Walmart will realize that the VALUE of TRUTH is priceless.

    Thanks Karrie for this, we got ur back girl:)

    • Kathy ,
      where do you buy your clothes ?
      If you are buying anything that is made outside the USA then all you are doing is paying a higher price for the same product
      If it does not say USA America then you could be buying from USA Japan. This an old marketing trick from right after WWII.
      The clothes you buy from Target ,JC PENNY, KHOLS, or anywhere else is made in the same sweat shop. All you are doing is paying a higher price for the same clothes

      • chainmailCavalier says:

        >If it does not say USA America then you could be buying from USA Japan. This an old marketing trick from right after WWII.

        No, no it’s not.

        • Usa, Japan is a very small town with little to no industry. I’ve actually drove through Usa, and if you sneeze while driving through the town you might just miss it all together. The Usa myth is something generate and kept alive by the Unions to scare people into buying American. While Buying American should be something any patriotic American should be concerned with. The unfortunate fact is big money has shifted so much of our economic goods offshore to “save” money. We should gave been beating the drum much louder long ago…

        • Patrick Asplund says:

          The idea that the U.S. Customs Department would simply shrug at Japanese products marked “Made in USA,” despite the confusion they would obviously cause, simply because they were “legitimately” identified as coming from the Japanese city of Usa is just silly. Lest anyone think that U.S. Customs inspectors were lax about enforcing the rules or willing to look the other way, consider the following difficulty Sony experienced with them as late as 1969 when Sony tried to downplay the fact that its products were Japanese in origin:
          . . . despite the Japanese flag flying on Fifth Avenue, most consumers, including actual customers, remained unaware that Sony was a Japanese company. Morita [President of Sony Sales] was uneasy about the possibility of a negative reaction, and did what he could to sustain the misapprehension. The required “Made in Japan” label, for example, was positioned on the product as inconspicuously as possible, in the smallest permissible size; and more than once, Sony edged below the minimum, causing U.S. Customs inspectors to turn back shipments.
          A notable exception to the USA’s import laws is the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which is allowed to use the “Made in USA” label on their products and export them to the USA duty-free. Legislation was introduced in Congress to close this loophole (also known as the “Saipan Scam”) in 1999, but it died in committee.

          Read more at http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/usa.asp#flzjX8mHYq8twZo3.99

          • The Northern Mariana Islands are territory of the USA. Therefore, it can legally claim “Made in the USA.”

      • Having worked in the clothing wholesale industry for many years, I can tell you that most clothing made in the U.S. is MUCH more expensive than that made overseas. This was not the case 15 years ago, but is surely is now. It’s cheaper to buy goods and have them shipped to America than it is to buy something made three states away. And truthfully, most businesses (especially larger retailers) will go with the less expensive nine times out of 10, in order to maximize their profits.

        • It’s not necessarily to maximize their profits. Consumers generally don’t want to pay the higher costs for domestically made goods, so it won’t sell. Retailers don’t carry what won’t sell.

          • It’s not that they don’t WANT to pay higher prices, it’s that they CAN’T pay higher prices. I’ve seen Wal-Mart employees wearing clothing that was hand stitched back together because they couldn’t even afford a new pair of khakis from the store they work in!!

            When you put profits over people, then people can’t even buy what you are selling; when the majority of their money is going to rent, food, basic essentials like heat, electricity, & water!

            Wal-Mart has no problem giving a few game show contestants $50,000 a year for 2 years, but has every problem under the sun to give their employees living wages.

      • USA Japan is an old wive’s tale http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/usa.asp

      • Couldn’t disagree more.
        I have no idea where any of my clothing was made, and I couldn’t care less, but I will tell you that WalMart has some of the flimsiest clothing I’ve ever experienced. It falls apart like that *snaps fingers*, never lasting more than a season or two. Meanwhile, I have clothing from Kohls that has lasted 10-15 years and still going strong (and if you take advantage of sales and such, it’s not that much more expensive – shop the clearance racks and it’s often actually cheaper).
        In fact, now that I think about it, I have a dress that I’ve had, believe it or not, since I was 12 years old, and at age 31, I just donated it because it didn’t fit that well anymore and was starting to fray at the hems. My parents got it at Kohls.

    • I encourage everyone to see Michael Moore’s documentary ” Capitalism: A Love Story” It

    • Thank you very much for that. I also have stopped shopping at Walmart. It was a wonderful company when Sam Walton was alive. I used to be a manager for them for many years. However when I saw the decline of not only the products they carry, (which is not the lowest by any means) but also the way they treat their employees here it is despicable to me. I would rather drive 20 min out of my way than give them any of my hard earned money.

  4. I think if you going to say this and post it is pointless unless you go to your store and have a conversation. It could be one employee not doing the packaging right. As for Winco, I go to two to of them frequently and one is awesome and the other lame. Customer always beware of any retailer.

    • I was thinking the same thing. Why come online to complain without giving the company any opportunity to correct the mistake or to make sure it doesn’t happen again. If it is a company problem, than that would be different. But there isn’t even the benefit of a doubt here. Innocent until proven guilty? I guess not in this bloggers world.

      • ann woodward says:

        Just a response to your comment about possibility of a “local” issue. I shop at a Walmart in North Carolina, and thought I don’t usually get my meat there, occasionally I have gotten chicken breast there. I did not go so far as to measure the weight, but made a mental note that the “juice thingie” was soggy and heavy with liquid. This is not to indicate that I believe all Walmart meat markets purposely do this sort of thing, simply to say that my local WM has.

      • I think the measurements pretty much prove guilty…………lol

    • Caitlin Weaver says:

      Walmart’s meat is not packaged in the store. It is packaged in a factory miles and miles (maybe hundreds of miles) away. It’s pointless to go to the store and have a conversation, because you’re dealing with a corporation. Walmart store managers have absolutely zero control over this issue.

    • Hate to tell you this Jayme but most foods going into Walmart are prepackaged. The same goes for most of their meats, being an old truck driver we’ve delivered some of their stuff..

  5. Uuuuugggghhhh! VERY disappointing! I just bought a package the other day from Wal-Mart and now I’m for sure going to weigh it too (haven’t opened it yet). I did the $1.79/lb price match for it from Yoke’s so I figured just go to Wal-Mart for all of my things by doing the price match. But not so anymore for the meats if this is the case! There goes the whole point of the price match sale!!! So frustrating. And FYI – there have many several times that I have noticed just a regular item off the shelf rings up a different (always higher of course) price than what the shelf said. I have had to go to customer service to get reimbursed and it’s not even about the money at that point (I don’t think it’s ever been more than a $1 difference) – but it’s the principal. I may have noticed but you know probably nobody else buying those products did. It’s down right wrong – and is it illegal??? Especially when it happened on the same products when there was a two week gap in the time of which I purchased it which means nobody did anything about it??? Due to my past history of these things occurring I am pretty good – as best I can – at trying to keep a mental note of prices off the shelf and looking over my receipt when I get home. But since I have had issues if my chicken doesn’t match up to the weight I will call and complain!!!!

    • Have you tried mentioning it at the register? If you’re able to watch items as they’re rung up (i.e. you don’t have kids distracting you), and you mention the price difference at the register, they’ll usually fix it right there without even checking.

      • Yes Jill – as I mentioned as best I can I try to pay attention. When I am sans kids I can but when they are with me I just have to check afterward which means dealing with it afterward. When I have noticed during the checkout process they do change it. But like I said, it’s the principal. A person shouldn’t have to be watching the prices because the price on the shelf should be the price on the register – it shouldn’t take the customer to double check especially when it has happened as many times as it has with me.

        • I rarely shop at Walmart but on the rare occasions I’ve gone there things have frequently rung up over the shelf price. Our Walmart checkers can’t adjust the price. You can either pay the higher price and try to get a refund at customer service or don’t buy the item.

      • Gone to the Zoo says:

        You shouldn’t have to mention it in the first place. They know full well what they are doing and are betting that such a SMALL percentage of people will chatch them that it is worth the chance. I refuse to purchase anything at Walmart, always read labels and only purchase MADE IN AMERICA products. Yes we pay more (thank you UNIONS) but at least I can say I support AMERICAN MADE goods. In most communities you can find a Farmers Market where fresh goods are sold.

    • In Michigan we have a “scanner’s law” so that if we are charged a higher price than what is posted, the store has to pay 10 times the overcharge, up to $5.00, plus the amount of the overcharge. For example, if an item is posted for $3.25, and you are charged $3.50, you would be reimbursed $2.50 (10 X 25) plus the 25 cents on the overcharge, for a total of $2.75. If you were overcharged by 51 cents or more, you would get the 51 cents plus $5.00, since the highest you would get is $5.00 plus the amount of the overcharge. You still have the problem of remembering the prices, or jotting them down on your grocery list next to the item (if you even carry a list—which I don’t). I shop and buy what ever is on sale and stock up on good buys.

      • Wow, I wish we had that law. I was at the store the other day and was overcharged by $2.

      • In Canada we have the ‘Scanning Code of Practice’ that many stores follow. If the price on the shelf is lower than the price the item rings up at, you get refunded the full purchase price up to a maximum of either $10 or $20, and for only one item (so if you buy 4 of the same thing, you get reimbursed for the full cost of one item, and the price difference for the rest).

        I once went shopping for ice cream that was on sale at our local Superstore (Loblaws). Bought 4 different types of frozen treats. The sale prices didn’t get uploaded to the computers properly so I got all 4 things of ice cream free. It was a good day. :) The only thing is you have to pay for it all then go to customer service to get the refund. If you mention the price error when it’s being rung up they will fix the price & no refund.

      • Same law in Ohio.

    • Worked at Walmart for 5 months as a cashier. The one price on the shelf another when you ring it up is common and MOST people do not catch it.

      I would suggest taking a sharpie with you, mark the shelf price on the package of all items then compare after check out (or during if you have the patience and time). I did it at all the local stores I shop at, each of them I ended up paying more than the shelf price. Walmart was by far the worst result costing me an additional almost $5 on an $80 grocery trip. Buyer beware indeed.

      • I worked as a cashier for Rite Aid for a few years and sometimes we did have items that rang up the wrong price… always higher obviously because there were sale prices that seemed to have never gone through the system. It happens in all stores. There are so many user errors, as a shopper you have to double check stuff. And also if you have the laws that the stores pays you overcharge then great!

      • Rhonda Troxel says:

        That is an awesome idea! I’m gonna start taking my Sharpie with me on every grocery shopping excursion! Thanks! I love it!

  6. I buy the frozen chicken breasts from Costco. The quality has never disappointed me! I am thinking there is no way that the weight could be off on frozen meat, right?

    • How much water weight does this frozen chicken have? Sometimes there is a large amount of water injected into the chicken before freezing. That is disappointing.

  7. The problem I’ve had with frozen chicken is that once the pieces thaw out, they seem to have shrunk. Maybe I should weigh it after it thaws.

    • Ooh, good idea Vanessa. My only problem with frozen chicken breasts is that I do freezer cooking and I can’t thaw, then freeze again if that makes sense. So I usually buy fresh and then freeze it into my meals. But this would be good to know about their weight.

      • Jerrilynn says:

        FYI the Walmart breasts you bought were frozen. I buy them all the time and they’re often only half-thawed when I purchase.

  8. Tracy Spangler says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I often ad match chicken at Walmart- it seems it may not be saving me money after all!!

  9. The absorbing pad in the package is here so that the chicken doesn’t sit in its juice. When packaged, that pad weighs nothing. After a while, it absorbs some juice and gets heavier. There’s a weigh transfer from the chicken to the packaging. So while there’s indeed a missing 0.2lb, the chicken when packaged did weigh just about 5 lb, including the juice.

    • Hi Mickael, the problem is that the Winco “pad” for collecting the juices was a LOT smaller, like half it’s size. I mean I find it hard to believe that a whole POUND of juices should come out of 3.97 pounds of chicken..seems a little much.

      • That simply means that the WalMart chicken sat around longer. Not that they are deliberately ripping you off. Still not good, but definitely not sinister.

        • Water weighs 8.3lbs per gallon and at 16 cups per gallon then 1 cup would weigh about .5lbs. Try collecting all the runoff and juices to figure out how much was all just “broth” and see if its a legitimate 15% as advertised. Broth might weigh less than water but it should still give you a good idea of what’s really going on here.

        • Forget the whole pad weight vs liquid. The law states the packaging is to NOT count towards the total price and in this you are ripped off if it isn’t done.

  10. I love that even though you’re writing about something extremely irritating, I’m able to smile and giggle at the same time. Thanks for the humorous yet educational post. I typically buy from Zaycon as well but will watch for this issue in the future! :D

    • Yes, definitely check the weight no matter where the package comes from. I bought the forty pounds of chicken from Zaycon once. Because I was splitting the package with a friend I weighed it, and there wasn’t even close to 40 pounds in the box. I called Zaycon’s customer service and they did issue me a credit, but not as much as the package was off. They tried to say that the 40 pounds included the box, but the label states “net weight”, so the box is not part of the weight. Wrongly stating a weight on food products is called misbranding, and a store can get into a lot of trouble for doing it.

  11. And usually the chicken at Walmart has a ton of fatty pieces still attached. You should have removed all the fat and then weighed the chicken maybe.

    • Really? And how is that helpful. When you buy your meat cheap, it will have more fat in it. That’s why I won’t buy cheap meat. I would rather pay a little more, get more meat at a better quality, and end up with more edible food. Remember, you get what you pay for. Low prices will typically mean low quality.

  12. Thank you for posting. My adult son does some shopping and brought home some chicken breasts (not sure from where but he does shop Walmart sometimes. I never step foot in that store). I cooked them Sunday and mentioned to the family that I thought the package was heavier than the chicken. I didn’t have a scales to weigh them so just threw it away. I will question him as to where he got them and pass this on to him. Had so many bad incidences there in the past ~ can’t stand that store.

  13. I don’t ever buy meat at Walmart. It seems like it’s more expensive and there is no fresh meat counter so I find it a little strange. Where does their meat come from and how long does it sit on a truck before unloading. I will stick to zaycon; Albies and Freddie’s for my my meat!!

    • I think it depends on the size of the store as far as a fresh meat counter. I have 3 Walmarts near me, only the biggest one has a fresh meat counter.

  14. Not only disappointing, but also illegal. They are legally required to put the container on the scale, and tare the weight so they only charge for the meat. I can tell you this from working at a grocery store. Please do call your store and speak to the meat manager. Hopefully if us just a misinformed employee, but they are ripping off all their customers like this, if you don’t bring it up to them you aren’t helping the others. If you feel like the meat manager isn’t aghast enough then talk to the store manager, please. :)

  15. I believe that Fred Meyer got into some legal trouble for this same thing a few years ago. I’d def contact the manager and corporate if you can. That’s just not right!

  16. Jeanne Weitz says:

    This may not seem the thing to do but you could always poke a hole in the wrapper and drain the liquid off into the meat bin, when you go to the register demand that they weigh your package and correct the price. shady I know but sometimes you have to stoop to their level.

    • *sigh* Unfortunately, resorting to their level means everyone loses. Just shop at a reputable meat place, don’t try to get bargain meat (as it will never be good), and pay for QUALITY.

    • Please do not poke holes in the packages and drain the juices into the meat bin. That could contaminate everything in the meat bin.
      The chicken is frozen with a dry absorbent “cloth” under it. As the frozen meat thaws, the juices are absorbed onto the cloth. Lots of stores besides Walmart have their chicken packaged this way.

    • Salmonella anyone?

  17. You might just think about sending the company the link to this post so they can see it for themselves…and you never know what will happen…except maybe peace of mind by just letting someone know. But I can see you are not a mean mouth person and that is good…you did not trash Walmart so the credit to you is good!!!

    I did this once with some frozen strawberries…bought 8 boxes of them and out of the 8 boxes I got less than 1 cup of actual fruit – the rest was juice. I kept account of it because I was so frustrated because I was in the middle of making a wonderful dessert.
    I sent the message to the company.
    Well I was blown away…the company apologized for the problem and said they would look into the quality control and send me coupons for $20 worth of their products.

    It pays to be on top of things and also let quality control know what is happening (in a good way that is)….try it and see what happens if for no other reason than to voice your frustration.

    Blessings,
    Karen

  18. usually buy my chicken by the 10 lb bags or either go to a chicken outlet store and buy the case. it is a lot cheaper that way.

  19. We have a brand new Super Walmart in my town. People flock to the dang store, and just buy buy buy the groceries. I walk in there and start comparing prices. I notice that most of the prices are just as high as my most expensive grocery store in town!. Walmart is NONUNION so why are the prices to high?! I have a Winco in my area that I go to once a month since it is a little ways away. The prices there are so much more cheaper than Walmart. Wait a second – how can a store like Winco be cheaper than a nationwide chain that buys their products in bigger bulk? Shouldn’t Walmart’s prices be cheaper than Winco’s??

    It only goes to show you that Walmart is just bilking people, and people are letting them! I may go to Walmart once a month, but not to buy groceries (I get my dog food cheaper there).

    • You might try checking the price of pet food at Dollar General. It is often cheaper than Walmart. In fact, a lot of their stuff is cheaper than Walmart. It’s also quicker. I can park at the door and be in and out in minutes.

      I never buy meat at Walmart. I buy very little there. I have a local store with a fantastic meat counter and fresh midwestern grown meat. I watch the sales and get better quality and decent prices. I don’t have to worry about water injected into chicken that way (Or pink slime and ice in ground beef).

    • Winco don’t take credit cards and so avoid the discount fees levied by the card issuers. Take that plus the rewards I get on my card and WalMart is a much better deal. Plus I don’t have to drive three times as far. So are you really saving?

  20. Just one more reason not to buy meat at Walmart. I avoid all of their meat, in fact I try and avoid this place all together. Much better to buy from a local chicken farm or butcher. This is an area in life where saving money isn’t always the best choice. Grass fed beef, good quality free range chickens and eggs and naturally raised and cured pork goes a long way towards health and saves money down the road.

  21. Karrie, thank you so much for the kind words! We love your website – it’s an honor working for you and all of your readers!

    P.S. Huge thanks to Andrea V. for the link to this post. :)

  22. Ninfa DePalma says:

    Thank you so much for writing this I had something very similar happen to me last week. When I mentioned to my husband he thought I was cray-cray!!! I thought it was odd that the packaging weighed more in my hand than the 5 individual split chicken breast after I cut off all the fat (just like Natalie mentioned above) that I had individually wrapped in my Ziploc Perfect Portion bags and put into a 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag. From now on it Aldi for me, we are gonna get a Winco in a few months but it’s too far to be worth the discounts. Again Thank you and you should send your discovery to Consumer Reports so that they can expose the awful scam!! (back in the day of local butchers the meat was placed on wax paper then on the scale, weighed then wrapped, so you got a better deal).

  23. WM’s chicken is packed at the chicken manufacturer, to WM’s specification. The “contains up to 15% natural chicken broth” is part of the price strategy, because water and salt are cheap compared to chicken. And who needs more salt in their food?

    I always look for “natural” chicken, with a maximum of 5% added water, because that’s what chicken will naturally leak after the slaughter process. Costco even sells organic chicken and I buy it whenever my budget allows.

    Great post!

  24. Laura Chin says:

    I don’t shop at WalMart anymore for a lot of the reasons posted above. I bought chicken from a local farmer and after tasting it, I knew I could never go back to the big bags of frozen chicken I had relied on. The taste difference is worth the price difference! If you get a chance, go to a farmers market, or food co-op (where everyone is always welcome, not just owners!), try localharvest.org even. The taste is phenomenal!

    • I agree! Shop local. You won’t be disappointed in the customer service and quality.

    • Shop local butchers if you can. You get quality from people in your community. They may charge a little more but your buying fresh merchandise that is measured /weighed before wrapped. If no butcher shops in your area find a local store with a meat cutter. Don’t believe its just Walmart, anyone selling prepackaged meat could have this issue.

  25. Also I don’t know if you noticed the tag on your chicken. The corner was folded under as though it might have been removed. There is a chance that a customer had swapped labels. I still would call 1-800-Walmart and complain.

  26. This is why I’ll stick with Albertsons and stock up during their 99 cent/lb sale. You get it weighed right in front of you and you’re not being ripped off. Walmart is infamous for ripping people off not just on the chicken but on beef and pork as well.

  27. Lurking in the Corner says:

    This type of thing needs to be reported to your county department of weights and measures. It is illegal and they will be fined.

  28. I checked my package and weighed. Bought from my local Wal-Mart a few days ago by price matching with Yoke’s price. With the packaging weighed in it was heavier than the stated weight – this was a good sign thus far. When I weighed just the chicken itself I was shorted .2 lb is all. I’m assuming that’s just some water/juice that was on the chicken and then settled into the absorber pad.

  29. garret games says:

    This problem will only get worse as the government cuts back on inspectors. The quality control in the plants and the weights and measures controls at stores and gas pumps is becoming a thing of the past.

  30. Rachelle Benson says:

    I didn’t read everyone’s post… but Karrie… this is just one more reason I am presently looking at 45 Freedom Ranger meat birds in my chicken pen, due to meet their ‘freezer home’ in about three weeks. In the spring I will start raising 50 more. ( yes we lost five… it happens). I know what is in their ORGANIC feed… they are processed humanely ( This year I am hiring a plucker) and we have yummy meat all year round. I NEVER buy meat at Walmart… I hope one day your country life unfolds for you… and you can have your own fresh meat the way we do… Next week our steers will be coming home to their ‘freezer home’. Again… grass fed… no gmo corn fed beef for my family. Our back up in between ‘seasons’ is Costco’s ORGANIC whole chickens and ORGANIC ground beef. You don’t really want to know whats in that meat not labeled ORGANIC. I say organic so that people really look at their food source. If you ever get a chance to watch FOOD Inc… its worth the information of our countries food sources. I wavered this year in raising up meats.. I am disabled and tired… but “You are what you EAT”… I just encourage you to really research organic meats… and avoid the growth hormones and other ick in mainstream grocery stores… ( not trying to be preachy ) That picture of walmart chicken just turned my stomach. You can always look on craigs list for farmers close to you that raise up more steers than they will eat like we do and sell them as halves, quarters… or the whole thing! Same with chickens…. pork… turkeys… we have muscovey duck….variety is the spice of life right? Anyway Karrie… just promise to never eat Walmart chicken ever again!! lol

  31. Great story, I would have never even thought about checking it out. Great info, from now on I will look more closely at the meats I buy.

  32. you are right- you should only pay for what you really got! On the other side- Regardless where you purchase your meats ( poultry as well) -they all come from Mass production Farms where animals are held pourly and are pumped with medication like Antibiotics to keep the chance of infections down. And then we humans eat it…and wonder why we experience health problems. Maybe you want to give a local farmer near your area the next time for eggs, poultry, vegetables…here in Germany we like to do that when we find out how animals are kept. Its our responsibility to be respectful to animals and to us- the world

  33. Amber Wagnor says:

    Yes Kerry that’s correct 15% broth in the chicken, which is what it said on the package correct, and everyone that thinks buying the frozen chicken will not do the same thing when it thaws is going to be be disappointed. Funny how everyone jumps to scrutinize Walmart, but not when they realize they have the lowest prices, and if they do not they will match, um not sure anyone else can do that. You could be grateful they have lower prices so that the mass portion of the world can afford to eat.

  34. Amber Wagnor says:

    And just a little curious on how much you were compensated for you blog, did you get your $2.09 that walmart ripped you off back?

    • Lister of Smeg says:

      So you think it’s ok for them to rip people off just because it’s a corporation. It’s cheap so that families can eat there? Give me a break. If they cared about families, they would hire full time employees. If they cared about families, they would pay a living wage.

      Do you realize that whenever they rip people off, they are taking money out of the pockets of families? Being ripped off $2.09 once a week on grocery day is over $100 a year. Still sound insignificant?

      BTW if Walmart really had the lowest prices, they wouldn’t HAVE to offer a price match. I have three other grocers around here who also price match, AND they double coupons, AND they’re often cheaper than Walmart. And I’d much rather give them my money, because they seem to be a lot more ethical than Walmart.

      The real question is, how much were YOU compensated for that comment taking up for Walmart?

  35. You should call your Wal mart & call them out…otherwise your allowing them to get away with ripping everyone off!

  36. Chris Corliss says:

    Walmart rips off the entire country, their employees and their customers. Anyone surprised? Not me. Never Never Never give your hard earned money to that family.

  37. Seriously? You have ONE example and you’re going to blast WalMart (or any store)? You didn’t even tell anyone about it? It never occurred to you that a human made an error… Nope, it’s big, bad WalMart trying to rip you off. Please. I agree that it’s no fun getting ripped off, but why not tell someone at the store instead of us? (Answer: because you can make money doing this, making you no better than any other greedy entity.)

    • Amen!!

    • Sarah-your friendly neighborhood farmer-to-be says:

      Why don’t you inform yourselves by at the very least reading the others’ comments who checked their own Walmarts and found much the same situation, not to mention the former employees who chose to inform us that this is, indeed, what Walmart offers its customers? Please, read a tiny bit further and you’ll be enlightened, guaranteed. And this is honestly one tiny blight in a massive disaster that is your average grocery store these days, especially the food-“food”-they sell. Walmart is at the top of the game, by the way.

  38. Another thing to be careful of is how much water/sodium that some stores add to their raw meat. I always bought from Zaycon but the last time I bought chicken they had 1/2 gallon of liquid in the bottom of the box. Not only was it messy but it weighed 4 pounds. So like you I paid for water. I have quit ordering from them. Nice investigation.

  39. Robert Brown says:

    The problem with this article is it states that the pad and packaging weighs nearly 1 pound. That means it would have to be holding close to 2 cups of water. I don’t think that pad is quite that absorbent. When they say Net WT., they are talking about the weight of the contents not including any packaging.

  40. I worked in a meat department years ago. The packaging is supposed to be considered and the scale set with the weight of the package alone before meat is put on it. This is called TARE and it is obtained by putting the packaging alone on the scale and then setting it to zero. If any store doesn’t do this they are ripping you off. You would think a store as big as Walmart would rather have your business than the few dollars they make by doing this. If it’s packaged elsewhere it’s still supposed to be weighed that way.

  41. Paula Loughlin says:

    FYI, From the USDA regulations regarding “Compliance Guidelines for Retained Water”

    31. Are absorbent pads used to absorb moisture in packages of product part of the net weight of the product?

    Answer: It varies depending upon the jurisdiction, i.e., wet tare jurisdiction versus dry tare jurisdiction to determine net weight. Compliance with net weight regulations is determined by following the wet-tare and dry-tare procedures in National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 133, which are incorporated by reference in FSIS regulations 9 CFR 317.19 and 381.121(b).

    32. Can retained water in the product be tared out of the net weight so that the retained water statement does not have to be labeled?

    Answer: No.

    You can always read the full set of guidelines at

    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRPubs/97-054F/compliance_guidelines.htm

    It is highly illegal for a retailer to fudge weights and measures. If you think a scale is off or the weight on the label is inaccurate you should contact the State agency having authority over weights and measures. Scales in grocery stores are inspected and checked for accuracy. They should bear a label showing the last date of inspection.

  42. I seldom buy any meat at walmart anymore because I have bought both chicken and pork a few times and came home to find it rancid. I go fareway for my meat and main groceries and by my paper products at walmart along with a few other things.

    • This is nothing new and not only at Walmart, I posted on my face book page a while ago, I took my chicken out and noticed this swollen thing in the bottom, it’s been there before but never really checked it out and it wasn’t from Wallmart . This time I opened it to find this gel type substance and wondered what kind of chemicals were these. Kroger had meat from Mexico, didn’t know that until it was about a year ago the law passed they had to say where it was from, I stopped buying from there, next time you had to look because they put it in really small words. you have to check all your fruit from stores, and see where it comes from not only Walmart but others like grapes check the package you will be surpised,

  43. Notice a very disturbing thing in the picture from the WINCO chicken package. Where is the USDA inspection sticker? Looks like a package we used to find in out old neighborhood store of years gone by where the guy packaged his own meat and we had no idea from where it came. Such packaging would not be legal for meat transported to another location. The pads in the bottom of the package is a safety item to help prevent bacteria growth. Do you really want to eat chicken without a pad in the package?

  44. Frannie Lee says:

    I buy most of my meat from my local grocer who has a butcher shop in the store. I am very lucky that way. When he runs sales on boneless, skinless chicken breasts it is 1.99 per pound and always packaged in a heavy weight plastic bag w/ out the styrofoam plate and the little absorbent thing that looks like a diaper. When they weigh things up, they automatically subtract the weight of the container before they weigh the meat or produce. I’ve also never had problems w/ meat spoiling or being on the edge of spoiling as I’m buying it. I may buy things like hotdogs and bacon from wally world, but not the other meats. I also don’t buy my produce there anymore cause we always got hit w/ fruit flies . And it didn’t matter if it was fruit or vegetable, they were on them. You want to buy local? Go to your non chain grocers and farmer’s markets.

  45. Barb McKinley says:

    Bravo! Way to go Karrie! Thank you for sharing the in depth work you put in to reveal well….basically a cover up, I will certainly be watching my meat purchases more closely, I enjoy and appreciate all you do!

  46. kathy bechler says:

    I loved reading this. You never know about things unless you investigate. The juice soaker-upper thingy is actually called a diaper!

  47. I usually get my frozen skinless chicken breast at Walmart… But, I get the 3 pound package that is in a sealed plastic bag.. It has no moister absorbers or tray… So, you can see if there is any excess liquid and choice another bag. I have done this for over 10 years and the meat has always to date been very good. Always read package to make sure that it is grown in the USA. Periodically check weight and has been 3 pounds or a little more.

  48. I agree with you that based on your situation the weights are not the same, however, did you know that Tyson packages all of the beef, pork, and chicken for Walmart? Walmart doesn’t weigh or put the stickers on the packages of meat unless something comes off and needs replaced but you should notify their corporate so they can make contact with Tyson to correct their scales so they can get the correct weights on the packages. If one is wrong they probably have many incorrect on their packages. I know its easier to blame the retailer because of their name but the stores just have people stocking shelves not butchers.

  49. Anoymous Cutter says:

    I’m a butcher for a very well commercial chain and allow me to explain the whole process. There are many reasons why the package could of been incorrectly labeled. I’ve found in the past that the scales can malfunction and cause improper labeling, which could produce the wrong weigh. It usually requires a reboot and can begin weighing up once again. When they package up the chicken breast, the tray and soaker pad is tare weighted off. A family pack tray typically weighs 0.7 lb and a soaker pad .03 lb so a total tare of about .10 – .15 lb per family pack. When they use the combination of chicken broth and sea salt solution it preserves the chicken for up to 10 days. In this time of sitting in the tray the juice from these breast are absorbed from the packing which is called “purge”. In the future, before you write an entire series such as this its best to weigh up several packages at a time and to make sure your scale is calibrated correctly as your scale could be incorrect. The USDA comes into not only commercial plants, but also your local stores to check the scales. When a USDA agent came to my store and checked our scales I asked “is all our scales weighing up correctly?”, he replied “yes.”. Anyhow, in the future i’d suggest taking maybe 10 packages and checking the weighs. ;-)

    • Mr. Anoymous cutter, by the way anonymous is the correct spelling, one bad product is one to many. Quality Control should be checking more packages not the purchaser. The purchaser has every right to weigh one package and expect it to be correct also 1 lb is 20% added weight not the labeled 15%. Another thing is you failed to mention the percentage of this liquid ‘ chicken broth and sea salt solution’, when it is added, and how this is achieved,is each piece of chicken weighed to ensure the 15% is not adulterated .

      • Anoymous Cutter says:

        Machines do malfunctions and that could be the probability of 1 package making it through before someone notices it. I’m not 100 percent as to how they mix the solution, but my educated guess is that they dip them in the solution on an assembly line and allow them to air chill and package. Its labeled on the package that it contains an enhanced solution as required by the USDA. The tare of the tray and soaker pads are taken into account when entered into these systems. I didn’t say that they didn’t have the right to weigh a package, but I told someone not to use a scale in a produce department as it could cause someone to get seriously sick through cross contamination. I was simply stating that because one package is off doesn’t mean that its a common occurrence. I’ve seen bags of chips that have been half full and doesn’t contain the exact weight of what it should be but you don’t see me claiming that Doritos is ripping off customers? It was a machine mistake and could of been taken back for a full refund. You’re likely to have more accurate packaging if its done by someone in the store where they set the tare weights for packaging. :-)

  50. Anoymous Cutter says:

    @Diane Kroger The beef especially something such as Nolan Ryan beef and Angus beef are still products of the USA. The USDA opened its border up to importing meat about 2005 requiring a Meat COOL Log or Meat Country of Orgin Labeling to put the country of orgin of where the meat was processed. Your select beef most of the time is going to be US as well, but sometime i’ve seen them send in ones that say “Product of US, Mexico, Canada”. Some of your pork baby back ribs may be very well from Us, Canada as well, but in terms of chicken its all USA.

  51. Karrie,
    Kudo’s to you for going with your gut and weighing out the product, I wonder more than I probably should about the same thing (I get my chicken at sprouts) but recently started getting it frozen in a big bag because it seems to have less fat on it. quality and consistancy are very important things for a business and I am a loyal reader and I am happy you spoke your mind on thi issue, I didnt serve in the military for years for women to have to feel reserved and not say the truth. Good for you and thank you, it might just be 2.09 but its your money and as a couponer and a mom, that moeny could be spent else where like milk, bread, and all.

  52. Thanks for the report – i guess if you’re in the store and you think it’s wrong, you could take it over to produce to weigh it.

    • Anoymous Cutter says:

      @Toni — I wouldn’t suggest doing that. It can cause a cross contamination and get people sick with Salmonella.

  53. And not to mention that walmarts chicken is often seconds. I too love Zaycon chicken, it tastes fresh and the breasts are humongous! with my family of 5 that works perfectly for us. Thank you for your post. I will definitely be more aware of packaging and where I am purchasing my chicken.

  54. If this ever happens, take it back and say that you’re unsatisfied with the product. If they ask why, then be honest and say it does not weigh 5Lbs as the packaging claims.

  55. I just picked up my first Zaycon chicken order today. While there was about 2-3 lbs of liquid in the box, I don’t think it was added water, but just the natural juices that meat produces. The chicken looks good and I can’t wait to taste it!

  56. Just FYI, my husband is a butcher and he said what Walmart packagers are doing is weighing without the TARE weight, which I had to have explained to me obviously. When they put the packaging on the scale then they are supposed to code it as TARE weight which then, when you put the actual meat in the packaging, it subtracts the weight of the packaging and such. He said complaining is something that definitely should be done because this is against the law.

  57. Their chicken is awful, so is Sams which is also a Walmart store. Only buy organic no matter what it weighs, yuck, it tastes so bad.

  58. I’d like to point out something. You said the chicken weighed 3.97lbs. Price was $2.09. You said you should have paid $7.92: if I am correct 3.97*2.09= $8.30.

    Just sayin

  59. Winco is, also, an employee owned store…I know that’s not important to everyone, but it’s nice to know my money is going to the workers AND there is honest business practices happening.

  60. Raising chickens for food- My Grandma’s family did this too. I’m not sure Miss Karrie could though-she seems to get attached to all her animals :) But it is a great solution. Have to say, I hate to see some of the angry posts towards Karrie. I’m not sure why some of you are SO bent out of shape. Have you EVER had a bad experience you told someone about? Karrie has been an awesome blogger, always so helpful and CHEERFUL. And you know what? She is doing what she loves. I am addicted to her daily posts, they always make me smile. We all have a voice, and we all go through things that we talk about because we are looking out for each other. We’re Americans and Thank God we have this freedom of speech.

    • Thanks Catherine, I am pretty sure the angry comments towards me are not from my regular readers. These are from visitors who don’t know me or my blog well, just saw this post. I know they don’t understand that I don’t hate Walmart, just wanted to let everyone know that it is okay to question things, and if you are feeling like something might not be right, it probably isn’t. Question everything! :)

  61. This is why I DON’T buy any meat from Walmart. This has been a well known fact about their meat for quite a while. I would rather go to Publix or Cocsto and pay a little more, but get a much better and usually organic piece of meat.

  62. Anoymous Cutter says:

    I had saw it posted on facebook to which I decided to response. I’m not angry about it, but it just seems like misinformation since you passed judgement based upon 1 package of each chicken. Just out of curiosity have you since bought another package to see if its accurate? I just like people to be more informed on things such as this as it is a passion of mine that I take very serious. Some would look to this as a “job”, but I see this as a duty to feed the community for if there wasn’t a butcher there would be no meat, chicken, pork, or whatever your heart desires. P.S I wouldn’t buy bagged frozen chicken. A co-worker of mine worked at a Pilgrims Pride plant and he told me the chicken breast that wouldn’t meet the requirements for trimmed skinless breast would end up being thrown into the freezer for processing. Bon Appetit :-)

  63. Wal*Mart messes with pricing to a point, sometimes , no most of the time you don’t know whether the price is the same, lower or higher. But the worst is, where did that chicken come from? No wait! The worst is, was the chicken raised on growth hormones and antibiotics? I don’t purchase any meat not packaged by the processor, except at a meat market. Meat markets also carry fresh non-packaged chicken, hormone and biotic free. The sad reality is one has to trust the store they are shopping at is honest, and few are completely. :(

  64. Justin Knows says:

    I was a butcher for 8 years, and a meat manager for another 5. After reading the story and the rest of the comments, as well as taking a long hard look at your package of chicken. I would say that you were a victim of someone else’s greed. 6 boneless skinlees chicken breasts shouldn’t be anywhere near 5 lbs.

    Here is how you got ripped off:

    Cheap, low integrity person wants meat for dinner this week. They go through the whole lot of chicken breast packages and find the one with the largest size and the smallest size. They quickly and easily swap the stickers and they are gone. If the stickers have any corner of them not applied well, they easily peel off. Heck, they even come off when correctly applied, but about half the time the packaging will rip. I used to catch multiple people per week doing this in my meat shop.

    Also, the things in the bottom soaking up the juice are called soaker pads.

    Also, the quality control for a manufacturer that distributes to walmart is so strictly watched that any of the processing plants that supply walmart almost surely have USDA inspectors ONSITE during all production hours AND cleanup.

    Trust me, Walmart is not trying to screw you over and if they are, they will put in print on the package in confusing yet comforting words for you to know.

    I could blow your mind to the point that you would never walk into another meat or seafood department with the little “tricks” of the trade. I can tell you within 30 seconds of walking up to a meat counter if the butcher is legit or a huckster selling you his day old grind as freshly ground.

    My 2 cents.

    • Anoymous Cutter says:

      I’ve have had that happen at my meat department many of times as well. You won’t believe how many times people will swap markdown labels on fresh meat to try and get away with it. Good explanation on your part.

    • Good post Justin I work at Stop And Shop as a Seafood Manager and sometimes I help out the Meat Department when they are short help (wrapping meat,packing out coldcuts, frozen etc..) I’ve witnessed lots of shady customers peel stickers off trying to put a cheaper price on it OR take the reduced meat/seafood coupons off the package and put it on something else they want to purchase. I can also tell if the grinds are old or the steaks are being re-wrapped and sold as the normal fresh piece of steak.

  65. Good try at trying to discredit walmart……but the pics at the first of your speil aren’t from Walmart….as a Walmart Dept. Manager…..the label on the Chicken isn’t a Walmart label….so try again…maybe next time you can do better.

  66. All this truth in labeling for the weight of the package but they don’t have to tell the truth about the contents such as pink slime, GMO, etc? Crazy.

  67. I don’t buy broth “enhanced” chicken. It’s hard to find with the recalls going on right now, unless of course you’re shopping organic. I started the habit when I was gluten free (chicken broths can contain gluten) but continued it when I learned I was allergic to some spices. The “enhanced” chicken tastes weird to me nowadays.

    Anyway, the little absorbent things in the non-enhanced chicken rarely have any significant amount of liquid in them. I’ve never thought to weigh the packaging, but the disclaimer on the package that 15% of the chicken (and theoretically the weight) is not chicken should fairly clearly describe why the liquid can weigh so much. The first package you got was marked with the 15% broth disclaimer: the second does not have a disclaimer and therefore is not “enhanced”, so it should have around 10% more of the weight as actual chicken. (Depending on how much of the broth is retained by the “enhanced” chicken.)

  68. I work at Stop And Shop as a Seafood Manager and I can say when i punch in a code for a specific fish my digital scale has a tare value for the weight of the styrofoam tray and the white diaper (that soaks up any juices) Stop And Shop and I’d imagine Walmart gets audited yearly with their scales the auditer will weigh the styrofoam tray and diaper and test a package out in the case to see if the weight is correct. I can attest that I never ripped off any customer and had them pay for our supplies (the tray and diaper) and only the fish in the package!

  69. Kaitlin Evony says:

    an easy way to help prevent being overcharged for your prepackaged meat is to only buy what was packed there at the store. i work in a meat department that sells both prepacked chicken from tyson and chicken that is cut and packed there at the store. a lot of the time the prepacked stuff from tyson comes in half frozen. it’s not pretty when it thaws, way too much liquid.

  70. This is highly illegal and you should report them to the state you live in weights and measures office (yes there are people that check this)

  71. Terry Rayburn Mitchell says:

    I appreciate this info and will heed it. One thing, though: If you don’t let Walmart know that they’ve cheated you, you’re allowing them to continue cheating others who aren’t as diligent about packaging and such as you are. Also, every letter of complaint I’ve ever sent has yielded, at the very least, a reply. Most often I receive free coupons or other merchandise: I once got a $50 gift certificate to a favorite restaurant where I’d had one truly bad meal. My motto, which is lame, at best, has become “If you don’t complain, you can’t complain.” And you don’t have to do it in person; a letter or even an e-mail will make a difference. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be cowed by big corporations like Walmart; they, too, are in business only because of their customers’ goodwill (which I don’t, for a moment, understand).

  72. Ann Killam says:

    OMG. I am so happy for this article. I normally shop at our local Meijers and chicken prices are better. I noticed this week that there seemed to be more “juice” in the packaging. So after reading this article I weighed a chicken package and sure enough almost 3/4 of a pound of juice, packaging etc. I will be sure to check my packaging better from now on and making sure I don’t see all that extra juice. Thank you so much.

  73. That certainly is deceptive. I don’t like buying meat there because they package with gasses to keep it looking red longer than it naturally would. That’s scary. Now you tell me they cheat us on the price? Even more reason.

    I buy all my meats at a local farm/meat market. I choose the meat. I choose the cut. It’s put in a bag and I’m out. When I had a family of 6, I paid $40/month on meats there. Now there are only two of us who eat meat. $15/month and we’re good.

  74. Just a little fact: 90-95% of the people who work for Wal-Mart live in poverty. Watch the video “The high Cost of Low Prices”. It’s all about Wal-Mart and how crooked they really are. Mention the word Union in Wal-Mart and see what happens.

  75. one thing more to avoid – chicken injected with that 15% solution, you are paying for salt water, which oozes out into the packaging, always check the label for sodium content to avoid it. , it adds some juiciness, but a few ounces of that weight is not chicken.
    watch out for pork, too. you can always brine it yourself.

  76. Todd Lester says:

    While I do agree that Wal-mart was way off, try this. Weigh yourself at night, and then again in the morning. The slight variance with WINCO was likely due to the gravitational forces and positioning of the moon. You will weigh less in the morning than you do at night and that is likely the difference for the slight variance in WINCO chicken.

  77. I refuse to buy chicken at Walmart, it has a nasty texture. My son works for Walmart and he said that the chicken comes to Walmart frozen, it will unfreeze and then they will freeze it again. I like buying my chicken either at WinCo or the Commissary. I just do not like the texture of Walmart chicken, I try no to buy any meat from Walmart once in a great while I will buy hamburger but that is about it.

  78. christine says:

    i have found in the past that chicken from Walmart cooks down a ton!! by the time you have it fully cooked it’s sitting in a pool of water.Only bought it a couple of times before i realized i was paying for frozen water.No more walmart chicken for me.

  79. I’ve had this happen with ground beef too. I always buy the big package and then repackage it into 1-lb. bags for the freezer. It never comes out to be the same as what the package says–always less.

  80. Friendly Stranger says:

    I recognize that package… I use to work at the factory that made those. In fact, they are injected with juice, however that much juice in the package is wrong. There should never be that much. Last I knew, that was against regulation. HOWEVER….it’s been a few years since I worked in poultry thus, it could have changed. Something you could check into is contacting the USDA. I know for a fact that the factory that packages the very chicken you got ripped off for, has several (or should) USDA workers watching around the clock, although things are still snuck by them.

    If you’d take a tidbit from a stranger, I would NOT buy those packages for my family. They are made by a large corporation that I would trust as much as I could pick up the factory and throw it. If you want to know who packages those chickens, look in the same area for the same tray, different clear film. You should easily find your answer…..at my local store, the entire chicken area is filled with their logo.

    Also, IF you do buy some….check it over thoroughly. If there is bloody spots on / in the chicken, it is NOT “A” grade, and in all likelihood, it’s packaged as “A” grade. Take a pic, and call the number on the packaging.

    Hope this helps….
    FS

  81. It IS illegal to NOT take away the ‘tare’— the weight of the styrofoam & the lining. The downside would be– the lining DRY does not weigh hardly anything at all– as its designed to soak up juices. Call your county health inspector with your findings. They’re the only ones to get Walmart to listen.

    Not much you can do about them adding so much broth and charging the same as the chicken itself–as it IS on the label.

    Another reason i do not shop at walmart. working on a year now–two if i hadn’t had to go there after midnight on an emergency. Why should I buy inferior goods, made in China, from a company that built their business on “Made in America”?

  82. As soltball deceptive as this is, I don’t think it’s illegal. As the package states, your buying the chicken AND the “broth” so they would naturally weigh the water- I mean broth – along wit the chicken. It’s not any different than buying watered down soup or a fountain softdrink that’s filled to the brim with ice. There’s really two solutions- don’t buy from walmart – don’t buy pre packaged

  83. You hid the branding part of the label on both packages, but from the looks of the first one it looks like Always Save brand which is an IGA brand. Wal-Mart doesn’t carry it since they are not part of the IGA.

    Could you try redoing your pictures, but this time without folding the price sticker to hide the brand/store?

  84. Cheryl Ann says:

    Well, in California, and I believe nationally, what WallyMart is doing is ILLEGAL. Stores HAVE to consider the weight of the packaging. My husband was in retail marketing for YEARS. That could be a hefty fine for WalMart and you SHOULD report them. No wonder they are raking in $$$$$$ of dollars! Department of Weights and Measures, I believe (hubby is asleep…)

  85. Nothing surprises me from Walmart. They makes hundreds of thousands of dollars and rip us off every chance they get!!!

  86. Not only did WalMart rip you off – but it wasn’t even all chicken breast. The package says it contains rib meat. Gross.

  87. If the Wal-Mart chicken was actually packaged by Tyson (and the yellow container along with the yellow/red price label leads me to think it probably is), then that came in pre-sealed and pre-priced. Chicken, by and large, is not packaged and priced inside the meat department (unless you’re going to an old school butcher shop). As a matter of fact, be careful about buying chicken in a chain store if it appears to have been packaged there. More than likely, it is chicken that reached expiration date and was checked to see if it had spoiled yet. When it was determined not to be spoiled, it was repacked in hopes of not losing money.

  88. Karen Bush says:

    You need to report this incident to your state’s consumer protection folks because this isn’t just a ripoff, it’s a violation of (probably several) state laws. States have very specific rules in places about weights and measures and they have to certify scales at establishments that sell things by weight every year.

  89. My grandma has always weighed her meat at the store to see if the weights add up. It’s sad that stores aren’t honest!

  90. Thank you for sharing! I’m always hesitant to go to Wal Mart because sometimes I feel the quality and price is not where it should be! Definitely going to be even more careful there now.

  91. I would call the store manager and also look into reporting them. There are strict laws about fraud for scales and weighing. The stores have to calibrate their scales on a regular basis.

    If you want top quality buy from a farmer’s market but you will go broke. Our local farms sell in butcher paper and have no added broths. However to compare ribs for example, the price was 4x higher from a local farmer (all natural) than the price at my HEB grocery store (big companies who use hormones , not natural, etc).

  92. I used to work at a local grocery store, in the meat department. I was the wrapper and it was my job to wrap, weigh and price everything that went on our shelves. Our scale was digital, as are the one’s at Wal-mart. Each item was stored in the scale and all I had to do was push a button for the item in question. Each item already had the weight of the packaging figured out so it wouldn’t affect the price. What you were paying for was the meat itself, nothing else.

    I try so hard to stay “local” and only buy things from local stores, or made by local crafters and vendors. Paying a little more for an item doesn’t bother me when I am helping out our community.

  93. It appears that Winco has in store packaging where Walmart does not Walmart chicken comes to the store all packaged…….

  94. Nice work. Thank you!

  95. Funny – I did this EXACT same thing last week! I bought that identical package from Walmart, and as I was throwing the packaging away, I noticed it was SO HEAVY! So I weighed it and mine weighed OVER a pound! Totally turned me off from buying chicken from Wal-Mart again.

  96. Wow! I would have never thought to do this! Thanks for the heads up!!

  97. You need to contact the Dept of Weights And Measures or Department of Agriculture in your state and report Wal Mart. They take this stuff seriously, as using miscalibrated or unapproved scales, or mislabeling package sizes/portions is considered fraud. Companies have been fined MILLIONS for this stuff.

  98. FLcracker says:

    We found this out sometime ago and reported it to the USDA with pictures of the packaging and scales. We were told Wal-Mart uses a third party to package their meats and that is who will go down for it.

  99. You know you’re feeding your family antibiotics, hormones, and arsenic that companies add to conventional chicken? & when you buy those products you’re only empowering the same company that is poisoning you to further poison you as well as others.
    I’m not trying to be rude. I really just want to inform people. It is only through information we can make better decisions. Take care, best wishes!

  100. Looks like someone mighted have switched the labels to get a better deal, though I dont shop at wal mart anyways to expensive.

  101. I actually used to work at a plant that froze, weighed, and packaged chicken usually for Tyson. All the “chicken Juices” in the package, are actually your %15 of Natural Chicken Broth; which is a solution added for preservation and what not, its (not sure if i am violating some kind of non disclosure agreement ) water, salt and Phosphate. The salt is usually from Cargill, the phosphate is from a company called Kena. The don’t inject this solution into the meat, the marinade the meat in the solution in a vacuum tumbler, something like a concrete truck with the barrel spinning and tumbling the chicken. With the vacuum the Solution is forced into the meat. after ward it is frozen then more water added, they call it a “glaze” it supposed to be like a protective shield for the breasts.It ends up bloody looking “chicken juices.” So that is why the weight is off, not to mention that when the chicken thawed some of those juices may have leaked out of the packaging.

    • Steve Philpot says:

      It was intentional dishonesty I can tell you that, and Wal-Mart does get their meat from an outside source. It was probably just a scale not having the tare weight inputted. Tray pack chicken is injected, not tumbled marinated, yes there is some seepage naturally due to the pores of the meat not being able to hold all the marinade. You should have just called the store, that’s what they are there for, instead of making a blog post indicating Wal-Mart (which I absolutely hate from having worked there in highschool) is trying to rip you off.

      • Walmart has the WORST customer service. Good luck getting a person, let alone any kind of response if you ever have a problem with them. It is why I no longer shop there.

        • I’m not saying ALL Wal-Marts have good customer service but some do and it is wrong to throw every store into a “bad customer service” bucket. Some of us live in small towns and have few options and we’re thankful to have Wal-Mart. We’ve lived many places, most of them small towns, and we’re always thankful for Wal-Mart, since it’s often 100 miles or more to a decent sized town.

          Our WM here, and the previous WM where we lived had excellent customer service.

          • I agree not every store is the same, I have been to some that lack good customer service and others where the service is great..but I also agree that when we as consumers uncover a problem with a product, store or price it should be reported and indeed make others aware ..good blog. I will still shop walmart for certain things, but rarely for food….

        • I agree.. to sit on the wayside behind a computer screen, spewing out that they have the worst customer service.. .that just sounds like an excuse/scapegoat for doing nothing.

          Typical in today’s society.. blame others and let all self-accountability die. It’s pretty easy to toss out such statements.. but I guarantee that if you were wronged by walmart tomorrow… you would say something. Or, would you say.. “they have terrible customer service, so I’ll let them get away with screwing me.”???

          Stupid..

          • Always report problems or expect to get ripped off…
            We can’t rid the world of crooks, but we can dang sure try…
            We as consumers already pay way too much, and with the corrupt leadership in this Country we can expect to pay more, but don’t allow yourself to be raped, robbed and walked on, stand up and fight!

          • wal-mart shill.. could you be any more obvious?

        • Steve Nance says:

          I work for Walmart in Bentonville and only can speak to what I have experienced. Walmart is a stand up company that works hard to do the right thing for it’s customers and the community.
          I will look to understand the observation and share perspective.

          • Stand up company? Really?? How come their employees cannot even live on the minimum wage they receive?

            How come Walmart had a food drive during Thanksgiving for their employees who are going hungry….asking the other underpaid employees to bring food to feed their fellow employees?

            How come Walmart trains their employees to get public assistance when they are hired? (Which means they get welfare and who pays for that? You and I!)

            AND ALL THE WHILE WALMART MADE 15 BILLION DOLLARS IN PROFIT LAST YEAR?

            I don’t know too many people who are happy that we are having to pay taxes for Walmart’s employees to be able to make ends meet so that their executive can make record profits!

            Does this sound like a ‘stand up company’? Not to me!

            The question is….how can anyone in good conscience shop at Walmart?

          • Denise Yamas says:

            Yeah, those were all kind of my responses too, Tyler. I am not even going to get into their unethical company employee practices and orientations. Steve Nance… you obviously are a company man, so that automatically makes your opinion biased, especially if you work in the home offices. Wal-mart is a sneaky company that moves into a small town area and literally chokes out mom and pop stores. It used to be one of the better companies, and next to the dime and dollar Chinese chains like Dollar General or Family Dollar, etc., it is still better. That is not a tough act to beat, though. I shop elsewhere when I can. The only thing I can say in defense of Bentonville home Walmart or offices is, if you get bad customer service at one of the chains, tell them, right then that you want the number to the home offices, or you want them to dial it for you right then. Apparently customer complaints to the home office are dealt with very harshly, so they do not like an assertive customer threatening to do so. I have seen many a “manager” change his tune upon that request. (notice I say “him,” as Walmart is also rather infamous for their misogynistic management practices)

            As far as the rip off chicken packages, I am not one bit surprised. Know where you are shopping. Buy at Sam’s… they keep quality high there to bring in the more elite and top spending consumers.

          • Frank Booth says:

            Mr. Wal-Mart,

            Were your knee pads made in China, like most items you sell?

            That chicken pricing issue is PURE FRAUD!

            Merry Christmas!

          • Sams is the same thing I use to work there quite it is just like walmart

      • Got news for you Steve Philpot. They are ripping people off and I feel that it’s on purpose. I have shopped a number of Wal Mart Stores and I find this in every one of them. I had a feeling they were adding salt which really ticks me off because I try to eat with a salt free diet. I asked at one store if they add salt and they denied it but it’s very noticeable. I just purchased a large pkg of boneless, skinless breasts earlier this week. I noticed that after removing the chicken that the pad under the chicken was at least an inch thick. It was very heavy.. I weighed it and that thing weighed over a lb. As the writer said the outside package/tray is very thick and heavy. I did not weigh that. However, here’s the interesting part: I took the pad that was under the chicken which some people think is there to soak up excess liquid, and sat it in the sink. I took a knife and poked a number of holes in it. Nothing came out. So what the sam hill is in that pad and why? This pad did seem to have a top layer that looked like some kind of absorbent material. It was very thin and no way would it hold a pound of liquid and not release it when it was poked or squeezed.

      • umm no the correct thing is to bring it to the public eye, as it is UNLAWFUL to conduct commerce with faulty scales, miscalibrated scales or to sell a product that is labeled with an incorrect weight or volume, ( over is allowed under is not), The scales are sold and installed wit calibration and test weights which are to be kept with them to check them regularly, in addition to the mandatory annual inspection by the Bureau of Weights and Measures. I personally would have gone further and dropped the proverbial dime and informed the authorities and not opened the package once I found the weight was off.

      • Did you seriously just write a blog about getting ripped off for a measly two dollars? Oh the cheapness…

      • mitch kruszynsky says:

        call the store hahah. like that would help you ever tried to get a manger or dept manger on a phone , i was a manger for wal mart before , they are that sleezy, Dont Buy Any MEATS FROM WAL MART ANYMORE, SINCE THEIR MEAT COMES IN FROZEN , SINCE THEY DID AWAY WITH THEIR BUTCHERS, YOU DONT KNOW HOW OLD THAT MEAT IS AND HOW LONG IT WAS FROZEN OR THAWED AND REFROZEN.

    • Seth is correct in his statement I worked 10 years for a company that grew,slaughtered and packaged turkeys.

    • I have never been on this site before but want to add to the last of cheated customers by Walmart.
      Bought 3 packages of chicken $2.09 pound spent about about $30 ! which almost 4 pounds was incorrect weight and packaging .I went back next day and manager defended his store and adjusted his scale to try and prove a point and said I was wrong or my scale was incorrect . Well went home and weighed everything I could and my scale was right !! Might go back with scale and prove I was not wrong Feel sorry for people that have no idea and barely making it and paying for extra pound on each package for nothing ):

      • I would b hard-pressed’ to go back & shop at that store!

      • denise mcconnell says:

        why not just weigh them while you are at walmarts??? they have produce scales. a pound is a pound, doesn’t matter if it is apples or chicken.

        • Kelly Findlay says:

          Who wants to weigh an apple on a scale that just had chicken leakage from a package of chicken ( they all leak, by the way). I know I don’t. This has to be some sort of cross contamination? don’t you think? yuck! Keep the yucky chicken off the produce scales please denise mcconnell.

          • Kelly, you have no idea what was on that scale before you put your apples on it and then you take them home and eat them. You also have no idea who else has been handling your apples before you bought them! They should go on the scale in a bag and should be washed before eating even just to wash off most of the surface insecticides that were used.

          • Kelly, I understand what you are saying, but keep in mind that any fruits and veggies should be washed before you eat them….. you never know what kind of filth is coating those foods…..

          • Stephanie is correct. All uncooked fruits and veggies should NEVER come in contact with meats. For example, E. Coli is a bacteria strain that is only dormant in frozen meat such as hamburger. Only cooking meat up to 160°F for a min of 12 seconds kills it. Even if you washed the fruit/veggie after contamination, the bacteria is still alive. E.Coli is just one example

      • Does your Walmart package there own meat? All of the ones around me dont. I was just curious as to why he was explaining the scales when none of that is done in store?

        • the meat at walmarts comes in from another company, but we do weigh up the meat when it comes in…the scales have a pre programs (from another company) tare weight for the packaging…the package she has probably was a malfunction from the scale in the meat department. not all walmarts are trying to rip you off. i work in the meat department…i know how it works. dont assume the worst of walmart because 1 person on the internet out of 3 BILLION people found a mistake. :)

          • Oh come on now…. How many people actually go home and weigh this stuff? If everyone did, I’m sure that a huge percentage would be ‘off’.

      • If a person ever has doubts about what they are buying, they can use the scales at the check out. These are certified by the state weights and measures department and have to be exact. You just have to remove the meat from the package, place it on a paper plate or towel and weigh it. By law, whatever the tag on the package says is what you are required to pay for it. The price per pound has the cost of the packaging factored into it so if it says 3 pounds on the tag and 3 pounds on the scale, somebody is ripping you off as you are paying the per pound price for the packaging.

        • That is if you can even find a checkout that’s even open. Most of the time there are four or five checkout open. Most of the time the lanes on the open registers are a mile long. My theory is there are to many people that are in need of jobs. If Walmart has so many register in stalled, then have them opened all the time. Not just at different times. Don’t tell me they don’t have enough staff, when half the time the employs are standing around talking. And not about work. Also keep a manager outside to keep the SMOKERS AWAY from the front of the stores entrance. I’ tired of smelling like an ash tray when I go in and come out. If the Managers can’t keep the EMPLOYS away and other ash tray people FINE them and TICKET THEM WITH A HIGH FINE . AND I MEAN ENFORCE IT.

      • More importantly be should call whatever state agency is in charge of weights and measures, as that shit is totally illegal.

    • terri smith says:

      It says right on the package 15% “enhancement.” Which is basically water. Up front they are telling you that only 85% of what you are buying is chicken. If the label is correct you are paying $2.46 a pound for your chicken. This chicken is packaged in a huge plant that knows exactly how much packaging is used, not some individual using a common scale and hand entering prices and tares. Walmart knows exactly what it is buying, from whom, and what their practices are. They are a huge and powerful company that can force compliance simply by taking their giant purchasing power to another supplier, if they care to. Also, consider that water weighs over 8 pounds a gallon. I personally would love to sell water for $16 a gallon, and it appears Walmart loves it too.

      • Yes, the chicken may be packaged and whatnot at a huge plant. However, it is not the plant which puts the price tags on the packages. If you take the time to look at the tags on meat at any store – or, more importantly, have had to get a new tag for said meat because the one that was there came off – you would know that they print out the tags and put them on the packaging AT THE STORE. Therefore, it is the store’s job to know how much the packaging weighs and thus have that weight deducted when they put the package on the scale to get the correct price on the tag.

        • Pat Nelson says:

          I use to drive an 18-wheeler and we hauled a lot for Wal-Mart distribution centers. We have hauled chicken that was pre-packed complete with Wal-Mart priced labels in place. Some of these plants do not have it together. They have loaded our truck with a whole pallet(1600 lbs) extra of chicken. When we unloaded, the distribution center refused the extra pallet, because they did not order it. I had to find a charity to donate the pallet of chicken to before I could load my next load. The moral here is that, as much as it pains me to say this, the problem is most likely not Wal-Mart, but at the processing plant.

      • it irrelevant when there is over a full pound discrepancy

  102. I am a retired meat wrapper from various supermarket chains and I’ve wrapped and packaged meat for more that 20 years. I can tell you that the person who was in charge of packaging the chicken did not take the tare off for the tray and the pad. I don’t believe Walmart intentionally adds weight to the package, I believe its laziness human error or laziness. They really need to keep an eye on that!!!

    • They selling it to others so its their failt, they took money and scammed people. If they sell product let them check it first then, not just put blame on others

    • Were talking Wal-Mart now days, I go in there to shop and ALWAYS having to pull bad food from the fresh vegetables and fruit/produce isle… I hand it to them and half way turn and yet can still see and the employees set it right back on the shelf.. as to say you found it bad but no one else knows it and they will sell it… You also want to check the exp. date on ALL your foods they don’t ROTATE the way I was taught to do it.. I’m 54 so I guess its OLD SCHOOL and they have better ways of stocking shelves now days. LOL Just saying!! I also use to work in the meat dept, and we always took off for the tray and soaker. Sorry this happened to you.

      • I poke holes in the plastic before I buy it. If it is good then no problem I am buying it, if not then the next customer can see the hole and smell it as well.

      • They are taught to properly rotate food and to take care of spoilage. Those who do not do it properly are just lazy and need to get the boot.

    • Kathy Kelch says:

      I work for a large company of Grocery stores, and I will say, I have to agree with Mahana, it’s the packager not the company, with all the laws and policy’s the stores have to follow, my advice is to complain to the store you got it at before complaining about a company that is not aware what is going on…. Just Saying!!!!!

      • Here’s an even better idea. Record your findings, which you have, get your friends and relatives to do the same, show a pattern and report it to the FDA. Let big govt. handle the hand slapping of big corp. They are there for situations just like these. Wash your hands of it. You’ve been a fine upstanding human being by telling the rest of us. You’ve made good use of your first amendment rights and there is nothing illegal about that. Cuddo’s!

        • Thanks Amanda, great idea!

        • Ummmm, big government is what got us into this mess of a nation we have right now. FDA sits right in their back pocket and if walmart wants to continue doing this to the people who shop at their store, then the FDA will look the other way. I for one stopped shopping at walmart many years ago and will NOT set foot in their store. They continually rip off the customer and think nothing about it. Back when the store first began, it was an amazing way to save money and it was run by a great man, since his death it is now a money grubbing company that cares nothing about saving the American people money, only saving money where they can, example, slave labor in China. Nope, I shop now at local stores and make what I can homemade, or buy from a different national store if I cant find what I need local or homemade. Not trying to bash on you, I just don’t trust big government or walmart.

          • You are so wrong, its NOT big government that got us into this mess, its people like you who point fingers at others and in the end buy chinese cap, consume like there is no tomorrow and if it goes wrong blame the rest of the world.
            The citizens of this country have only their own stupidity to thank for were this country is. Without everyone glamoring for the cheapest item, taking out credit were they can’t afford it and screaming every time someone raises the prices or taxes. The citizens being cheap, greedy and irresponsible got us were we are…nothing else.

          • Hans is correct. Further, in your ignorance, you have blinded yourself to the fact that Walmart is one of the leading retailers that sells American Made when American Made is available in said product line. Dont blame the retailer because corrupt unions forced manufacturers out of business due to excessive labor costs. The United States has changed from a manufacturing base to service based economy, so where do you think all the products you buy are going to come from? this is the result of runaway labor costs. And any business will base it’s net profit off it’s gross, and part of that gross is labor cost, so when you jack up the cost by demanding higher wages, the company is still going to make it’s 10-12%, but you just increased the net dollar figure that it is

        • Lorenzo Poe says:

          Except that the FDA doesn’t do weights and measures. It is usually done by the state department of agriculture.

        • You’re kidding me, right?

          Both Hillary and Moochelle sit on the Board of Directors at WallyWorld.

          • Fact check. Michelle Obama has not served on the board of directors of Walmart. Hillary Clinton was on the Walmart board from 1986 to 1992.

        • Weights and measures issues are handled by the state, so contact the agency in charge. Most likely the agency is required by law to follow up with an inspection.

      • I wouldn’t trust the FDA further than I could throw their headquarters … these are the people that allow unlabled GMO foods, high fructose corn syrup, and toxic additives into what we purchase to eat. I give kudos to Wal-mart because they have taken steps to correct their rather poor image as employers, have started carrying more organic and even gluten free products, and are working toward quality and accuracy in their food packaging and marketing. No, I don’t work for them. But I am a consumer who is gluten intolerant and diabetic and who has learned to read labels and shop very carefully. You can find damaged goods and inaccurate labeling in any store, I don’t care who they are, because it’s true that they get those products from someone else who packaged them. Take your share of the responsibility for what you buy – ‘let the buyer beware’ is an old saying and it has lost none of its truth.

  103. Chris Wright says:

    Most of these places pump the chicken breasts with a solution. This is not anything new. All this chicken you buy and you’re just figuring this out now??

    • Well, I am new in this whole real-foods organic grass-fed type of lifestyle. Baby steps for me…I am trying. But I haven’t really started into meat as of yet..but might have to soon after hearing all these comments. :)

  104. Ummm just so you know (as it doesn’t seem as though you do, the weight you pay for is suppose to be for the product itself NOT PACKAGING!!! So Winco actually priced it appropriately. Added juices you can’t do much about (sadly) but the weight of the product should never include any of the packaging – styrofoam tray, soaker up thingy ( ;) ) or plastic wrap.

    • Tray should be weighed separate from the meat. No matter what the store is, the weight of the tray should not be accounted for when buying something. You pay for product, not wrapper. I worked in a candy store and we had to weigh the tins before we put the candy in and then after to get the correct weight. Totally agree this person was ripped off. This is why I buy frozen chicken.

      • Yeah, seems like people probably aren’t “zeroing” out the scale. Most food scales have this option. You weight the packaging, and “zero” out the weight. So when there is nothing on your scale, you won’t be at zero, but if the packaging weights say 1 pound, your scale will read negative 1 pound. So when you do weight your food item, the scale automatically deducts the weight. Just one click of the button would have saved this!

        • I totally zero’d out the scale – I just don’t think they did.

        • “Zero out” the scale is known as tare. Sounds to me like someone got lazy and didn’t tare for the weight of the packaging, and the balance of the discrepancy was that juices possibly leaked out. My action would have been to contact the store manager and then let him/her know that I was also contacting the state dept of weights and measures. If you got an inadequate response from the store manager, call a local TV station’s investigative reporter. They LOVE doing stories like this – especially during “sweeps” (ratings) weeks. Like you, we prefer buying our chicken from Zaycon. We get ground beef, etc. from them, too. Our last order was supposed to be 40 lbs of ground beef. We packaged 38 1 lb packages. We shrugged it off – hubby figured we’d over packed a couple of packages. Got an e-mail from Zaycon within 24 hours that THEY made an error and we got a credit for 2 lbs of ground beef. :-)

    • Yes, that’s precisely her point. Packaging should not be weighed with the meat.

  105. Hey girl! I work at Winco and we are always honest about our packaging and pricing. If there’s a problem, tell us and we will fix it. Glad to hear that we made you happy with your chicken! :)

  106. That’s why I shop at Hy-Vee! Everything I pick out of the case is wrapped in paper!! And I watch them weigh it so I know i’m not getting ripped off!

  107. Walmart does not do fresh chicken anymore, they get it all shipped in prepackaged, so this chicken was done this way at the chicken plant… regardless I don’t EVER buy chicken from there, nor do I buy any meat from there anymore.. I get my meat from a store that actually packages their meat on site….

  108. Carla Phillips says:

    I quit buying meat from Walmart years ago. I was purchasing ground beef and when I browned it and there was water when it started to brown I realized I was paying for water. I was paying for water! No more — I purchase meat from a local grocery store and don’t feel like I’ve ever been cheated.

  109. Walmart does not package their own meat it is all shipped in, I know this because my husband was the meat department manager for walmart for over two years all they do is unpack it and put it on the shelf hell its already weighed and priced when they get it

    • This does not in any way relieve Wal-Mart from its responsibility of verifying weights and measures on packaged meats like this.

  110. Chef Beth says:

    You should call the manager of the store & let them know their meat department is being dishonest. If it doesn’t get you any satisfaction then call the corporate office. They obviously included the packaging in the total weight. Someone either wasn’t instructed properly on how to tare the scale or they are just being lazy.

  111. Weird. I find the opposite to be true between Walmrt and Winco’s chicken here. Winco’s is absolutely disgusting and usually full of liquids in the package to the point where it is leaking out all over. YUCK!

  112. First, I will tell you that I work for a major supermarket company in the Northeast. My job is Pricing Coordinator. What they are doing is against the law in my state (Massachusetts). The tare of the packaging must be subtracted from the actual weight of the product. This could be a hefty fine for the company if they are caught. Don’t bother contacting Walmart directly. I would contact your state’s Weights And Measures Department and have them investigate.

    • Marsha Schultz says:

      Absolutely, contact the Weights and Measures Department for your state to investigate. Don’t contact Wal-Mart directly. This is important because Wal-Mart has been caught and fined many times for doing this very thing.

  113. Walmart is great for this. We purchase their 98/2 ground beef and the 1lb package is never one pound of meat. I somewhat agree with the earlier poster that there is human error here somewhere along the process but I would not be surprised if this was also intentionally done. The amount of money that they are saving adds up exponentially.

  114. Larry Walewski says:

    Man, I bet stores just love blogs. People will take the time to write lengthy accounts of all their problems, complete with pictures and then they won’t feel the need to actually come back to the store to complain to get some real meaningful resolution, the only kind that will actually make a difference in their policies. Unless I’m mistaken, Walmart has a complete satisfaction policy. If I had felt strongly enough to want to make a blog post about the problem, I certainly would have felt strongly enough to hold on to my receipt so that the next time I returned to Walmart I would have gotten a COMPLETE refund for the product. That’s how you could have saved some money. I mean, it’s all good warning your readers about this, but if you aren’t going to do the only thing that’s going to make a difference in their policies and your wallet, what’s the point?

    • Larry, Walmart doesn’t give two hoots about what their customers think or customer service. I can tell you this from my own experiences with them. If you go into the store, they would only offer you another package and to call corporate. If you contact corporate they either never call or write you back, or you get an excuse not a solution or apology. Walmart is big, they don’t care what one customer thinks or says because one customer can’t hurt them and they know it. The only satisfaction policy Walmart is interested in upholding is the one that works out best for them.

      • While I prefer to shop elsewhere usually, I find Wal-Mart to bend over backwards to make ANY problems right & they usually make it MORE than right!

        An example is that I was charged for something I didn’t get… 2 of something instead of 3. I called the store I went to, which is 30 MILES away from me. The first CSR told me to bring the receipt in. I told her that I live several miles away & that it would cost far more in gas to drive there for my $6 plus tax. She repeated herself to bring the receipt in. Slightly annoyed, I repeated myself & then hung up.

        I tried calling a few times but they were very busy & I never got through to an manager, so I called corporate. The store manager called me back & was VERY apologetic! He said he would mail me a gift card for the purchase amount, which I told him was $6 + tax. Three days later I had a gift card w/$10 on it from him AND a very nice hand written note of apology. I was not asking for a penny more, but he gave it to me. While it was approx. “just” $3.50 cents more, I thought it was VERY nice & I truly appreciated it! Not only did he not make me drive there to even prove I was charged for the item, but he made it more than right.

        Perhaps that is different where YOU are, but I can guarantee you that if they don’t care at your store level, corporate does care & WILL make it right!

        • well I am a assistant manager with Wal-Mart and have been for 13 years and I promise you our policy is to make every customer 150% happy no matter what and yes I have sent many customers the card in mail or paid them for there gas to come in depending on circumstances so if your store don’t care call your stores district manager Wal-Mart cares about yes even one customer all customers that come in our store and talks to management starting with the csm’s on the front end on up is very happy when they leave our store and yes the meat comes in prepackaged and impossible to recheck without opening every one I would have to hire 10 people just to do that in my store if that would even be enough

          • You don’t have to take the chicken out of the package to check it! That is silly. You can simply put your packaging on the scale and zero it out, then put the whole chicken package on. Most good scales have a memory setting so you could program it to remove the packaging amount. You could also get a good idea if it was off by just putting it on the scale and checking how close the number is to that on the package. As the writer did and knew it was off. Also, it would take someone an extra 10 seconds to have a scale next to the to check a couple of packages in each box, not 10 people. As a manger you should know this.

      • While not a big fan of Walmart, this is just opinion without citing particular incidents or producing some proof. It seems to me like it’s just ‘cool’ to hate big businesses like WM.

    • I appreciate her taking the time to do the post. It is not something I would have ever thought of checking. At an overcharge of almost $3.00 on one package. Who knows how much I have flittered through my fingers over the years not paying attention to how a store does their weights, That can add up to a lot over time and a blog telling me to pay attention is a service to others!

    • On the plus side, Larry, putting it in a blog lets the rest of the world hear about it. I might go to Stop & Shop with a digital scale this week and see how they handle things.

  115. I’ve actually had that same problem at other stores, one in particular was so consistent about not taring the scale with the package and it was the only grocery in a reasonable distance. I contacted the store manager several times, it didn’t improve so I contacted the state attorney general who promptly contacted the store to resolve. I got a response from the state that it was a training issue but

  116. Stop eating meat. . . it’s cruel, filled with harmful preservatives, half of them time it’s old. . . etc. . . it’s just not good for you.

    • How is eating meat cruel?? That’s what the good Lord put it here for. To feed us. And I don’t disagree about the preservatives etc… But if you buy natural, free range, grass fed meat,which is the way it’s supposed to be, then it’s not. Everyone’s titled to their opinion and I’m by no means trying to discount yours… I just don’t see how it’s cruel when that’s what they were meant to be for.

    • Remember you would still swing from tree to tree if it would not for the ability of early humans to a) eat meat and b) cook hat meat that in return provided the energy needed for brain development and the advancement of the human race.Humans are omnivores and need the energy and nutrition from meat for proper development. Look at the studies of children brain development and cardiovascular development and the slew of problems societies that grow up vegan have.

  117. the other thing they like to do is load up a bunch of fat under the chicken…Spartan does that… looks like you have a nice chuck of chicken facing up then, take it out and under each breast is a wade of fat

  118. Sandy Albrechtsen says:

    I never buy meat from Walmart. I have also noticed the water in hamburger and figured that the same practice followed throughout the meat department. I don’t care that the meat comes prepackaged, they pay for inferior quality in order to have the lower prices. The quality is poor throughout the store. In fact I seldom buy anything there except paper goods, pet food and OTC.

  119. I stopped shopping at Walmart years ago because they mostly employ part-time employees so that they don’t have to pay them benefits. Also most of their items are imported and not made in the USA. I figured a company that makes billions of dollars in the USA should treat their employees better. They also have millions of workers in other countries that work in inhumane conditions. I refuse to spend my money in that place.

    • Angel- not sure where you shop but EVERY store uses part-time employees and it’s only going to get worse under the “Affordible Care Act”. Also, Target, K-Mart, etc. is full of imported products made overseas in countries that don’t treat their workers well. Let me tell you, even the clothes that you purchase at upscale stores like Ann Taylor, Macy’s, etc are made overseas in so-called sweatshops.

    • They say that every Walmart costs the taxpayers about $420,000 per year in welfare. I try to shop at Costco and Stop & Shop, which do offer their employees benefits, some even to the part-time ones.

      Lee Ann, you should read up on the Affordable Care Act before you criticize it. Obviously, your state is not participating in the health care exchanges, or you’d see the benefits like I did.

      • James, as for your mention of reading about the benefits of the “affordable care act” better known as OBAMACARE…This is what this so called “great benefit to our nation” has done for my husband and myself. We had GREAT insurance! We were paying $75.57 a week for a family plan, no co pay at doctor, deductible of $500 for ENTIRE family, included dental and vision, and I could see any doctor I wanted. We got a notice from my husbands employer that stated, “Due to the requirements that now need to be met as required by Affordable Care Act, there are some changes to your insurance policy”. WOW was there!! We would have to now pay $167.97 a week for a family plan, co pay of $45 at the doctor of their choosing, a deductible of $1500 per PERSON, no dental or vision. So now, tell me how is this affordable?? We were barely scraping by before this disaster and we had health insurance. Now? We had to cancel the insurance as it was either pay the high rate or eat. There was no cutting back anywhere else, we don’t go out, we don’t buy anything we don’t absolutely NEED and we have minimums on anything else we have to buy, ie car insurance is general liability only. Seriously, obama created this disaster that americans are feeling in their pockets and I don’t care if the irs will charge a fine for not having insurance. We are taking the amount of money we were paying before this disaster and sticking in a safe place. When disaster occurs for us and we need to pay for a doctor, at least we will have some money to do it with. As for obamacare and seeing what it would cost through it for our insurance needs, that is an entirely different response from me and I don’t think it would appropriate for me to comment about it on here, suffice it to say, it would cost me more money per week that what we would pay through hubby’s employer. obamacare = financial ruin, and hopefully ruin for all the liberals that voted for it!!

        • sorry about our health insurance, but totally agree with you. It is happening to us all.

        • You got a bargain/ come on plan before that lots of the insurance put in place as bait and switch. they knew the plan did not comply with future requirements but hey sold millions of them anyhow knowing that millions will be pissed off. To bad you got caught up in that scheme, but don’t blame the ACA for that, blame your insurance company that knowingly sold you a cheap and in some ways inferior plan. My insurance plan cost went down and the coverage better…I can’t complain.

          • Sorry, I worked for ten years in benefits administration. Many of these companies have had the same plan for years, long before the Abominable Care Act went into effect. I have read the law. I have seen the effects. I have been affected by it.

            The law specifically required maximum benefits as well as minimum–many plans covered too much (spread the wealth, remember?) and had to be eliminated on that basis.

            Blaming it on the insurance companies is the bait and switch.

    • I agree….I refuse to spend my money at Walmart…buy fresh, buy organic, and above all buy local :)

      • Unfortunately buying local does not protect you from illness. Remember the people that bought the melons in Colorado at the farmers market bought organic, bought local and died / got sick anyways anyways with thousands sick throughout the country when they used contaminated water to grow their melons.. Sickness and dead can reach you if you buy local of from a thousand miles away.

  120. Kathleen Morgan says:

    ewwww…all the more reason not to even eat meat

  121. I have switched to organic meats. When I can’t get them from a local farmer, I buy ground beef and whole chickens from Costco. I have been very pleased with the quality. I live next store to a chicken farmer (whose farm is about 5 miles away) and they have told me horror stories about Tyson and the processes they use to grow and process the chickents. All the corporate chicken farms and processors use the same thechniques. If you think you are getting treated well because the price is the same on the lable as on your scale you are sorely mistaken. They are cheating you by taking unecessary risks with your health.

  122. I would caution folks from eating boneless, skinless chicken breasts regularly.

    From our educational materials:

    “I want to highlight the fact that we need vitamin A for protein assimilation. What happens when you eat protein powder or lean meat or egg whites without the yolks, or skim milk? There’s no fat, there’s no vitamin A, so your body goes to the liver to get the vitamin A stored there and pretty soon you run out of vitamin A. A high-protein, low-fat diet is the quickest way to become depleted of vitamin A, and that’s when you start to see auto-immune diseases and chronic fatigue, the kind of problems that the medical professionals just do not know what to do about. Remember that the traditional cultures never ate lean meat. It is not hard to get adequate protein in the western diet.

    You do need some good-quality animal protein, but that’s the easy part, especially in America where we are not lacking for protein. What we are lacking are the fat-soluble activators.”

    • All you need to do is eat real butter instead the artificial crap. Have a serving of beacon once a month and you don’t have to worry about vitamin A.

  123. Leisha Evans says:

    We all have to shop where we can and buy what we are willing to eat or think we will eat..

    I learned to weight my items sometime when I was young so I knew what I paid and how much I got for those items.
    I personally looked around and found a locale farmer who does their own packaging and I happen to have a locale grocery store that caters to customers who like air chilled chicken so I buy from both I live in a city surrounded albeit less farmland than before but sill farmers who feed us what we want. Yes I pay more than $ 2-3.00 per pound but I do know where and how my chicken was prepared prior to reaching my grocery bag.

    I think this is one more reason to bring home eco-nomics back to school. And let no food or distributor company control what is taught in the home -eco-nomics class.

    • April Lynn Penney says:

      My mom has worked for Walmart for 19years now. When she started she was a temporary part-time seasonal employee. The company has changed alot since Sam died. He did care much more about the individual than the bottom line. They used to package and cut their own meat. The children decide it would be cheaper to outsource the department and go with prepackaged products. People are right when they say that Walmart no longer cares. Sam’s own children are responsible for the move away from what was once all about the blue collar customer and employees. Now it is all about the bottom line. I have grown up with Walmart playing a major part of my life and I have watched as his children do everything in their power to run the ship straight at the reef sooner or later they are going to bottom out or cause the unpatchable hole. Either way bad policy always has a way to come to light.

  124. I have noticed the heaviness of the packaging too from various grocers. Now I will have to weight my chicken & see if it is accurate or not.

    I think this certainly can & does happen w/other stores, so calling it a problem that seems to just be specific to WM isn’t entirely fair. I get that YOU were at WM & that is where YOU were overcharged though so that is what YOUR post is about… YOUR experience =).

    I take your post as a lesson learned that it can happen at most any store. Especially if it is a case of human error where a scaled was not tared out. I would also imagine that meat packaged for WM may not be the only store that packaging plant processes/ packages meat for and I would personally try to find out which other stores uses them to get the situation corrected at the appropriate level, IF I were going to take it to that level.

    I also agree that WM is not blameless & they should CERTAINLY be doing at least random weight checks to verify things… as should every grocer!

    TY for the informative post & I will be weighing my chicken too next time!

  125. I was so glad to see this post – I noticed the same thing myself when I purchased some chicken breasts there – I thought it was just me. All the same, I vowed never to buy meat from Walmart again. And I don’t think complaining to the store would have done much good – what are you supposed to do, package the whole mess back up and take it back? Ick. I certainly think they would have refused a refund, since you probably went ahead and used it, because I bet you didn’t want to waste any more time, money and energy to take it back. Bravo on Costco meat – it’s all we buy.

  126. Wow, that is incredible! How lazy and dishonest. I usually buy whole chickens, which is less packaging at least. Of course, the best bet is to buy from a local farmer!

  127. Sarah Butler says:

    Good post! Sometimes vigilance will pay off either by finding a new place to shop or informing the store so they can change their practices. It does go the other way, sometimes, though – I was newly married and in my first apartment, and money was tight. We had very little grocery money and I had coupons like crazy. I made a trip to the store and checked the meat section for anything marked down. Imagine my surprise when I found a TBone priced at $0.07! Not marked down! And another. And another… and still another. A total of 8 steaks at $0.07 each! I put them in my basket and continued my shopping. At the register, I said to the cashier, I don’t know if this is right, and brought her attention to the prices. She said, “I have to sell them for what it says,” and they rang up at $0.07 each. She assured me that I was not in the wrong, and that this purchase would be used to “re-school” the butcher employees – apparently whoever was in charge of packaging had ONLY weighed the Styrofoam & soaker-upper pad!!

  128. Here in New York every county has a Dept. of Weights and measures. The are responsible (among other things) for the accuracy of the scales in the supermarkets. If they find that the actual weight of a package doesn’t match the label, the store can be fined (and usually is). Same goes for gas pumps. If your state or county has such a department, report that Walmart to them.

  129. I hardly go to Wally World,but it’s good to know,I do go to winco sometimes.
    Won’t be buying anymore from Wally World anymore,mostly food.winco is
    A good store,a lot of good deals.i shop at Costco more though.
    its bad enoughThe price on everything,then have to add to the soaking,and fat.
    just isn’t rite,
    Maybe someday people will be honest enough and try doing the rite thing.

  130. I will only buy chiken at my co op, because they carry chicken from a local farm that I know very well. I won’t buy meats injected with “stuff”. You can never tell what that “stuff” really is! I will pay more for grass-fed beef and only eat it every other month or so. The chicken is in my freezer all the time.

  131. Good eye, girl!! Thanks for the heads up. Seems we get cheated around every corner.

  132. Allen Russ says:

    Buy them frozen and you won’t have to worry about it

  133. Jackie Pearson says:

    I will just tell you that I have never had a good experience with the chicken from my local walmart, I have even taken it back shortly after I purchased it (had a cold, no sense of smell) got home with the chicken and my husband said what did you buy, when I replied chicken, he said take it back, it is bad. as I returned to the store, the manager said yes we seem to have a lot of problems with the meat in this store not being processed correctly and returned my chicken. my thoughts as I left is really you know you have a problem, yet you continue to sell this meat to people, who can get sick, or even die….. well I only shop there now for other things, but never do I buy their meat

  134. Almost all of the meat and poultry at Walmart is either marinated tumbled or injected with solution (salt water) upwards of 25%, so you are paying for salt water instead of the protein. This will also lead to more liquid seepage in the package. All natural chicken found in most other stores does not have the salt water added. However, if the specific meat department case is too warm even natural meats and poultry will seep. All of the liquid is considered part of the purchase price and not tare. The only tare in all states now is “used dry tare” which is the tray dried off with a towel and the soaker pad squeezed out as much as possible…so even the liquid in the pad is part of the purchased weight. Obviously the package that was bought at Walmart was incorrect but Walmart generally purchases most of their meats in exact weights so all packages are the same price which can lead to this problem of some of them being underweight….need to complain at the store, if a serious problem inform the state weights and measures department.

  135. kathy giordano says:

    I have worked in many mead depts @ grocery stores for 30 years. Any scale I have ever used has a set tare weight for the package. You can report them to the Dept of Agriculture, each package weighed wrong carries a high fine…

  136. Jennifer R says:

    What did customer service or the store manager say? I assume you did reach out to them before slandering their product on the internet. Allowing them a chance to make it right?
    I certainly do not agree with it, however, there is a right and a wrong way to go about things.

  137. I think you have to check all meats. I bought some sirloin hamburger from Safeway (I already have a dislike for Walmart) and usually their product is very good. When my hubby cooked it he noticed a large amount of”fat/grease”….almost a full cup. We have been cooking this 7% beef for nearly 10 years now and never once had a full cup of juice! Most of it “burns” off during the cooking process. So we called Safeway and even offered to bring the “fat/grease” in (they said not necessary). We complained that the labels must of gotten mixed up and they were selling 20% for 7%. They apologize and said that they didn’t package the meat (they got it shipped to them) which I knew was a half-fib. I did get our money back (which was half the price of the original amount plus 50% off that as it was a family pack that had been reduced). So check your meats and everything else for that matter…every penny, nickel, dime, quarter, dollar matters if you are trying to meet the needs of your budget.

  138. Awesome post and I’m so glad I got to read this one! This is something that everyone should be aware of and I will definitely be sharing this on Facebook and Twitter.

  139. I only buy or grow real food (organic or/and grass fed beef, chickens/pigs are fed organic feed and chickens are allowed to go peke at their hearts content. I buy from local farmers.

  140. If you are concerned about the weight, also look at the fact that New USDA rule allows hidden feces, pus, bacteria and bleach in conventional poultry.

    Buy ORGANIC chicken and problem solved.

  141. Pam Nealon says:

    I admit, I didn’t read EVERY post here, but I read many of them and it seems to me since Wal-Mart purchases “PREPACKAGED” meats then they too are being ripped off as they are purchasing that weight at one price and selling that SAME weight to us at a profit. Therefore, I believe that corporate would probably welcome the feedback as there are three issues in it for them ….. 1st they are being ripped off, 2nd they are ripping off their customers in return, and 3rd they are breaking the rules by selling meat with PACKAGING included in the pricing. Maybe it is human error, and maybe it is deliberate; but who is to say it’s WalMart doing the cheating, maybe they are being cheated as well. Think they would want to know.

  142. Sharry Baumgarten says:

    Grrrrrr. I am so glad you wrote this blog. I posted exactly this comment over a year ago about the 1Lb packaging walmart rip off on my facebook page. It is not an isolated issue, this is every tray. I shop in Texas, don’t know where you do, but, this is not an honest mistake. This is intentional theft. Makes my blood boil and no one is holding these guys accountable or calling them to the carpet on this. How many hard earned $ have they taken this way? When I complained to the store, they replaced my chicken with another tray with 1lb of broth yuck stuff. No apology and no change of policy. This is just plain wrong.

  143. I read your post recently and contacted Consumer Reports about. Today I received the following email from them:

    Dear Ms. ………..,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact Consumer Reports®. I want to express how much we value your choice of our products and services to help you make informed purchasing decisions.

    We appreciate your writing to us regarding the package weight and pricing of chicken at Walmart and other grocery stores. Please be assured that our readers’ feedback plays a strong role in the work that we do. Because of this I have taken the liberty of sharing your feedback with the appropriate members of our staff for their review and future consideration.

    Consumer Reports is committed to making your experience positive and informative.

    Sincerely,

    Patrick Burns
    Representative
    Customer Relations Department

    I”m really looking forward to see what becomes of all this, should be interesting!

  144. I previously worked in a Walmart meat department. I can honestly say, this was not a Walmart error. The price label that is on that package is the label that was on it from the processor. Walmart’s meat department didn’t have anything to do with pricing or weighing that meat. ALL of Walmart meats come in a Tyson box, so if it happened with their meat then it could happen with all the Tyson meat at any store. My guess is just what others have said through long explanations as to how it is processed. That meat was probably flash frozen after the sodium solution was put into it, then it was weighed, then sealed. Once at the store, the meat stays frozen until it goes out on the floor shelf. It then unthaws while waiting for a customer to purchase it, giving it the “fresh” look, even though it was frozen just a couple hours prior. Those juices that were in the packaging thing were included in the meat cost because at the time it was weighed, those juices were actually in the meat.
    Now, here is a story to help you all realize that while yes, sometimes people do indeed forget to tare the scale and you may get “ripped off”, it also can go the other way. I have witnessed an employee that instead of doing .009 tare, put in .900 tare. It made it to the shelf this way and people were paying $1 for a $10 premium steak! Before out manager realized what was happening, a customer had shoved over $100 worth of steaks in his cart. Then the race was on to see who could grab more steaks faster, the customer or the manager. Our store lost huge on that one and that customer had some really good steaks for 10% of the price.

  145. “Contains up to 15% natural chicken broth.” This corresponds aproximately to the weight you measured without the meat.

  146. Lora Morrison says:

    and it could be a simple thing like the weight machine they were using that particular day messed up too. I have worked for grocery stores over 20 yrs and at times them machines on occasion mess up. all chickens from every store isn’t packaged there. all chickens come in preweighed. no one cuts up chicken in the grocery stores any more. and you truly have to know what the tare weight on the package and they vary. I know walmart is walmart but don’t blame them for this one it’s not all their fault

    • Lora: get your facts straight. There are a large number or stores that still have meat counters and you can choose your chicken and have them weigh it in front of you.

  147. Karrie – I have a small blog and live in a small town in Nevada. Walmart came into town in January 2013. I would love to reference this article on my blog. Would that be OK? I haven’t only been in there a few times (I am trying to go to the local stores) so I don’t have personal experience to refer to. Thanks.

  148. I personally stay away from factory farmed chicken. Pretty disgusting.

  149. I work at walmart and can tell you that the guy in the meat dept does nothing than pull your frozen chicken package out of a box and put it on the shelf they dont weigh them in store

  150. Do you really eat this antibiotic and hormone full chicken? I would suggest that you buy it only from a local and trusted farm, otherwise you do not know what you are eating.

  151. Michele Heitner-Brabender says:

    The Winco chicken does look like it has a lot of fat to trim though. I’d be curious what that would weigh.

  152. Ok I’m not saying that Walmart is right or that you are lying but if you are going to post pictures of the scale with the meat and package and then say you weighed other things on the scale so you know for sure the scale was on you could have showed pictures of the various things you weighed to back up what you are saying. When you buy chicken you are paying for the chicken and any juices whether they are natural or artificial stuff injected. Is it great that they are injecting stuff in the meat we buy and feed our families? No, but unless you are willing to pay extra for the organic or buy local or raise and slaughter the animals instead this is what you are getting. We are not supposed to pay for what the packaging weighs, but when you weighed the package and the chicken together and got one weight then weighed the chicken by itself you had a pound difference. What you didn’t factor in were all the juices that were soaked up into the packaging. The packaging does not weigh one pound. The packaging is actually pretty lightweight. Now when you actually look at your numbers they don’t all add up right and that is what makes me wonder if your scale is right or if the scale didnt weigh correctly because the package was hanging off of the scale and it wasnt centered. The whole package weighed 4.938 pounds and the chicken was 3.97 pounds after you tared the scale for the weight of the bag you put the chicken in and the weight of the packaging that the chicken originally came in with the pad soaked with juices was 0.994. When you add 3.97 to 0.994 you get 4.964, but wait you said that the whole package 4.983 and that is less than what the chicken weighed plus what the packaging weighed. Like I said at the beginning of my post this doesn’t mean Walmart is totally right but not everything you are saying adds up either plus you are not taking the weight of the juices into account for the total weight of the chicken.

  153. carol johnson says:

    This is why buy my meat at a meat market. I have determined that I pay no more by buying from a local meat market (who has been around for some 30 years), than I do from buying at the chain stores. I also don’t buy from stores that say they will meet the price of other stores – THEN WHY DON’T YOU JUST PRICE YOUR ITEMS THE SAME AS OTHER STORES???? Milk is my biggest complaint. I can buy milk at Aldi’s for $1.89 a gallon, at Walgreens for $2.29 a gallon, and yet it is $3.09 most of the time at Walmart. Biggest rip off around. Ever since Sam Walton turned the business over to the sons, they have gone downhill. Eventually it will catch up to them. Too bad. They started out with all the right ideas.

  154. I would get a bread maker and some camping gear for my ever growing Scout! Thank you for all you do to help us all save some money and still staying true to yourself!!!

  155. I don’t spend much at Walmart anymore, nor anywhere else… Almost everytime I shop at Walmart I get “price-gouged” or cheated. One price at the shelve and a higher price at the cash register. I noticed the managers so many times yet they continue this practice of price cheating. Plus Walmart rarely has dividers for customers thus sometimes confusing different people’s goods and wasting time. What a shitty and depressing place to shop at. I only go there to buy same stuff cheaper, but lately i keep my savings in the bank and don;t spend much as I do not support current politics and economics of large corporations and the government spraying of chemtrails.

  156. walmart has nothing to do with packaging their meats. if you look into the company history, you will find that meat cutters actually managed to unionize at walmart. the companies response was to do away with meat cutters and buy all meats prepackaged.

  157. What did Walmart say about this inaccuracy?

  158. Walmart likely got sued for a 5 lb chick3n falling thru flimsy Styrofoam so they now make them heavy duty

  159. This bugs me bc #1…it is not directly benefiting whomever packed that chicken to rip us off…#2 there are procedures in place to pack the honest way! So, that means either whomever packed it was taught a different procedure (which is in return ripping us off) or they are just plain lazy & therefore guesstimated at the chicken. Either way, this problem should be brought to their attention so that it can be addressed! Thanks for the article!! :)

  160. Is it really out of the question for a store to charge you for the container and the product? Those containers do cost money you know… I hate TheWalmart with a passion, but I’ve never understood why people think the packaging for products should be free. Would you rather scoop the raw chicken up off a dirty counter top, put it in paper wrapping, and “hope” no bugs get in it on your way home? Seems to me that an extra $2.09 to ensure that your family doesn’t end up in the ER with food poisoning is probably worth it.

  161. I also quit grocery shopping at Wal-mart, not for this reason, but at King Soopers for store brand items I typically spend $100 less per week than when I shopped at Wal-mart for Wal-mart’s store brands. Also when buying chicken legs at Wal-mart, on more than one occasion there were still feathers on them. yuck

  162. A chain in the PNW called Fred Meyer got in trouble for including the packaging in the weight a number of years ago.
    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2002097696_webmeat22.html

    • But I think they only can’t include the dry weight of the package. Wetness from leaking fluid is considered part of the poultry.

  163. I have noticed the same thing in the past with their ground beef. I buy a bigger package, then separate into 1 pound sizes to bag & freeze. Twice the amount I purchased was less than stated. Just one of the many reasons I no longer shop at Walmart.

  164. This is alarming news on a Dr Oz episode.

    http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/buyer-beware-chicken-china

  165. Any update on this? Have you checked on any other Walmart chicken packs?

  166. This has never occurred to me. Thanks for sharing!

    My gripe with Walmart chicken has always been that in any of the three stores I have purchased these exact packages of breasts sold as fresh meat, they have been icy on the underside, which makes me wonder if they were pre-frozen. Yet nowhere on the packaging or the meat case signs have I seen anything that labels them as previously frozen, though I may not have looked hard enough when I’ve searched for confirmation. I simply don’t buy them any longer.

  167. You know what’s wrong? Eating animals that were violated for your un-necessary pleasure and consumption. Stop promoting animal cruelty. Having your throat slit is cruel. Living your entire life indoors, in shit and darkness is cruel. Getting over-priced for a product of violation is not exactly something I have sympathy for.

  168. We found the same to be true with bacon. I did complain to the company, who offered to send me coupons. I told them I was not interested in the coupons; if you are labeling the package to include 1 lb of bacon, then include 1 lb of bacon. As you noticed with the chicken, the bacon wasn’t even a pound including the packaging. Now we just buy it from the deli of another store.

  169. That’s like that at every store NOT JUST WALMART!! Every store has those soak pads in the meat trays, of course you just have to mention Walmart! Not Krogers ect….

  170. I HAVE FROM DIFFERENT SOURCES, THAT IF THE FOAMY THING IN THE BOTTOM IS REALLY SOPPY WET, THE MEAT HAS BEEN SITTING TOO LONG!

  171. Ok. I know that a kajillion people have commented, and I didn’t read them all. So it may have already been said. But the real kicker for me is not the solution, or the packaging, but the fact that the WHOLE thing weighed less than the sticker stated for the weight of the meat. That is the part that’s just plain WRONG!

  172. I would say that your biggest problem is that you are buying CHEAP meat and actually consuming it!!!! $2.00 per pound of meat is absolutely INSANE! I can’t even begin to guess what kind of crap they are injecting those chickens with and the fact that people actually EAT that crap is just boggling

  173. I never buy any meat at WalMart… been onto them for long time now. I do however get my meats from the local Savalot..so much cheaper, and I catch the good cuts of steak on sale all the time. Glad you have the….er….cahoneas to tell it like it is!!!! WTG

  174. The real issue is that overly processed boneless skinless chicken breast should not cost $2 a pound to begin with. While I try to avoid buying anything from Wall-mart to begin with. We have a completely distorted view of how much food should cost. In reality if you take in to account how much it cost to raise a chicken that price makes no sense, especially considering everything that went into growing, processing, packaging, and shipping the chicken to the store and the grocer needs to turn a profit as well. clearly $2/lb does not cut it.

    While I do not agree with the practice of miss representing what the grocer is selling I think there are greater issues that need to be considered.

  175. Jordan Sommerfeld says:

    Why would you buy boneless skinless breasts anyway? Don’t you know how much they hurt the farmer (actual farmer, not the little guy) Buy whole chickens, pasture raised, I pay $3/lb and I know the farmer, and know the product is high quality, and not soaked in chemical laden, so-called “broth”.

  176. OMG! I find it so interesting that I came across this article today. Yesterday I bought chicken from Wal-mart. I fixed it tonight for dinner. You are right, it was very tasty chicken. However, once I took all the chicken out of the package, I thought it was unusually heavy. I dismissed it as “the juices” but now I will be more careful. Thanks for the heads up!

  177. Although I appreciate this post, I just wanted to put my input in. To be fair to Walmart they do not package the meat, an outside company does that, and they could fully not be aware of it. Secondly the second store you went to looks like they package that instore, they have a lot more control over the “natural Juices” in what they are packaging. So you are always going to get a more accurate meat weight. Might I suggest you offer the same post from a tyson package at another store other than Walmart. Most stores carry prepackaged chicken like Tyson. Just to see the difference.

  178. Actually the WINCO one was probably correct for the amount of chicken. They are NOT supposed to include the packaging or soaker in the price per pound. It is ONLY supposed to be the meat. Period. Fred Meyer got dinged for this big time (and in trouble). It is false advertising.

  179. Walmart isn’t the only one. I once ruined my favorite shirt when I picked up a package of beef at VON’s and bloody liquid poured out all over me. The manager barely spoke English and refused to replace my shirt, which was stained beyond repair.

  180. You should always contact the store manager & if nothing is done contact the Department of Weights & Measures. If your state has this, your tax dollars go to making sure the weights & scales of business are not stealing from the consumer.

  181. I wouldn’t buy and packaged meat from Walmart because of what I saw on television. I would buy the frozen meats but not the fresh (so they say). Just saying.

  182. Cograts? You picked one chicken to downplay an entire company? How about you buy 5-20, weight them all out, and get an average. Considering people cut and prepare these products, out of hundreds of walmarts and thousands and thousands of pounds of meat being worked with, what’s the off chance that some was mistakenly misweighed and sent out. It happens, but weighing out 2 pieces of chicken isn’t really enough to say that you are being ripped.

  183. I, too, agree that it is unfair to blame a company for dishonesty when you never bothered to contact them regarding the issue. I had a similar issue with a package of chicken breasts from Tyson. I emailed their customer service regarding the weight discrepancy, and they mailed me a coupon for a free package of chicken. It was well worth my time, but when I buy pre-packaged chicken, I often weight it now (versus purchasing from the meat counter where they weight it in your presence).

    It would be more honest of you to contact the company before making this assertion.

    • thank you! I so agree with you. Most of all stores carry prepackaged meat. I didn’t think it was fair to compare to a package of meat that was done at store level, to a package that was done at a chicken plant. It drives me crazy that so many people want to blame Walmart when the same things happen at your other neighborhood stores, but you rarely ever hear about them.

  184. Time to file a class action law-suit – this would be BIG

  185. Steve Nance says:

    I work for Walmart and can only speak to what I have seen.
    The company works hard to do great things for its’ customers and the communities it operates in.
    I will refrain from my thoughts on this and see if I can get some perspective to share

  186. Raw chicken is so nasty! Ha! Anyway, I didn’t read all the comments, so forgive me if there is a comment above that states the same as this: I wanted to point out that the chicken you purchase at the grocery store is more than likely pumped full of a saline solution. That is part of the price you pay in your $2.09 a lb. That solution is what is leaking out and weighing down the spongy-thing. If you would like to avoid this, buy chicken meat from a local farmer. It will be much healthier for you anyway.

  187. It is not in your mind. I stopped buying my boneless skinless chicken from WalMart because of the same exact reason. I package the chicken into 1 pound packages for cooking purposes. When the package says it’s 5 lbs I expect 5 packs, but I only get 4. The other pound is the package and the ‘soaky up thingy’. I go other places to buy chicken now.

  188. This really doesn’t surprise me, but it is kind of you to take the time to test your suspicions and publish your findings. We stopped shopping at Walmart for our meats about a month ago and switched to all local suppliers. There is a huge quality difference in what we are getting. At first, I thought it would be more expensive to buy local meats, but it’s actually turned out the opposite.

  189. there are about a gazzillion posts so dont’ know if this was covered, but you can weigh your package of meat in one of the produce scales just to make sure it is correct. Be courteous tho and put a plastic around it first so it doesn’t add contamination to the next persons raw apples. Then understand that your package should weigh MORE than what is on the label because the meat should have been weighed with out the package being included. If it weighs less, get an associate to fix or adjust the package to reflect the correct weight. Some times it isn’t the company being sneaky, it was a worker who didn’t understand how to operate the scales and label machine.

  190. I would say that a call to your states Weights and Measures Department is in order. Items sold by weight and volume need to have an accurate posting of the total price, price per pound, and weight of the consumable product. An inspector will typically pay a visit to the location where the item was purchased and verify the packaging, scale accuracy, and spot check items in the store.

    Good Luck.

  191. I’ve been in Wal-Mart once in the past 4 years, and didn’t buy anything when I went there (it was after hours, I needed a bolt for a headboard in our guest room – expecting company the next day, and the hardware store was closed). Wal-Mart was out of stock so I ended up just leaning the headboard against the wall and got my bolts the next time I needed to head to my local hardware store. I have to say that I don’t miss anything about that store!

  192. Rebecca Waldenberg says:
  193. I never purchase meat from Walmart, think about this ask a butcher how long meat will stay fresh in his meat counter, about 5 days or less. All of Walmart’s meat is processed off site, shipped to a distribution center, then to a warehouse, then to the individual Stores, all of this takes 5 or more days. What chemicals are used to keep the meat fresh and do you really want to be eating those chemicals

  194. I have had this same thing happen to me. I called and complained. I received a couple coupons to “make up” for the difference.

  195. Mary Beth Anderson says:

    Sorry to burst your bubble on WINCO but it happened to us exactly the same thing chicken did not weight near what label said and it was name brand chicken WINCO blamed it on TYSON saying they packaged the chicken and labeled it with weight & price.

  196. Kathy Jenkins says:

    Buy local grown chickens.

  197. I refuse to buy “fresh” meat at WalMart anymore. The past two times that I have, I have become ill with food poisoning immediately afterwards. Their meat prices always seem too high, and the meat too “pink” (in terms of beef). I have purchased ground beef there that looked fresh and found that it was brown/gray on the inside (so there was a dye or something used to make it look fresher than it was). Obviously, that package was thrown out and not eaten.

    I live in a small town where the nearest WalMart is in the next town over, and the nearest other big chain store is over 15 miles away. Whenever I need to buy a large amount of groceries, I drive the 15 miles rather than shop at WalMart. We are anxiously anticipating the arrival of a Meijer supercenter in the next town (opening this summer) to give WalMart a run for their money.

  198. wow. every time I think of reviving my old food blog, I just have to read a page of comments, realize who the readers really are, and then I can feel GREAT about spending time watching my garden grow while staying the hell away from blog-authoring. BRAVO to anyone who blogs under these conditions. ((((slow clap))))) I really hope you are making a living at this happymoneysaver. Thanks for the chicken info. I don’t buy meat at Walmart ever, and I’d rather eat less meat in general than meat of questionable origin/quality, anyway. But I’m giving you props for coming out with your discovery. Good job.

  199. My wife just made this similar purchase (2/2/14) and we really didn’t weigh it. It was 1.99/lb. We cater (our hobby) and everyone knows our cooking so this was a real bummer when we cooked it. It was sliced very thin (thats how we like it) and marinaded our usual way.

    Well…let me tell you something…it had texture of fish before the flakes break apart…maybe somewhat rubberier, mind you we love fish too. But in the chickens texture, it never flaked and was chewy like rubber, and didn’t have the usual chicken flavor. Another reason to dislike Walmart.

    She’s returning it for her money back. Poopoo to Wallymart.

  200. I know that I will never purchase ground beef from Wal-Mart again! I bought some that looked pretty good but the price was considerably higher than I would have expected it to be. The problem in my case was not the weight (I didn’t weight it so not sure if cheated there) but the taste…I used the ground beef in Hamburger Helper and I ended up throwing away all of it because it tasted so bad. It wasn’t spoiled…it just tasted awful and had so much gristle in it…along with a few bone chips.

  201. Stephanie says:

    I have not bought chicken from Walmart for months simply because just walking by the chicken there was a HORRID smell!! but now that I have read this article I probably will never buy it again because as you said the package does weight almost as same as the chicken!!! I used to buy all the time cause there chicken was s cheap!! now I know im just getting ripped off and prices are about the same as other stores. maybe I will buy it again and turn them in if the weight isn’t correct!!! this really pisses me off!! every week we would buy a package or so of chicken from Walmart! ugh!! thank you so much for sharing your story!!

  202. I run into this very same problem MOST of the time I purchase meat. Esp. the boneless, skinless chicken boobs! It is infuriating, isn’t it?! I am very wary of any meat bought at my walmartian. I have had to return one of the two pkgs because it was Foul fowl! The burger meat was just fatty and watery. ugh.

  203. Also, when buying food at walmart, they make up the money lost by raising the prices on the other side of the store.

  204. Sam Debater says:

    I bought a flat of chicken last week at Sam’s Club (for about $1 / lb). The tag said it was 6.3 lbs. I weighed on two scales at home and found the chicken by itself weighed 4.6 lbs. I’m contemplating what I should do about this.

  205. Unfortunately if this product was packaged at a USDA facility, you have no recourse. The Feds say all of the liquids ..including the broth that is injected into it (up to 15%) is part of the product and you are charged for it. If you buy the product thawed (like most of us do) all of this liquid has leaked out. But it is not in the container, no it is in the special gel pack underneath the meat (these packs can hold up to 50 times their weight in liquids). All of that special broth you pay extra for is now trapped in this pad and there is no way to get it out. You just paid $1-$4 for this liquid, and the feds say this is a legal practice. So consider this the next time you buy USDA packaged poultry for a low low price.

  206. Awesome post.

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