Are You Paying For Your Frozen Yogurt Cup too?

Believe it or not, spring and summer will be here before you know it and we’ll all be looking to cool down at a frozen yogurt shop.Today, many of these frozen yogurt shoppes allow the consumer to dispense as much frozen yogurt the customer wants. The yogurt is priced at around fifty cents per ounce. So if you want different flavors or a cup that is filled sky high you are able to do that. However, the real question is are you paying for just the yogurt and toppings that you consume or are you also paying for the cup that the yogurt is placed in?

Many yogurt shops determine price based on the weight of the yogurt and toppings, but they are required to subtract the weight of the cup or package first (which is called the tare weight). According to Jerry Butler, NCDA & CS Weight and Measures program manager, not every shop is aware of that. Butler heads a team of 24 inspectors whose job is to inspect scales in the state, and he guesses that they’ve inspected around a hundred or so yogurt shops so far. Of those, he estimates about 75 percent have not been using their scales properly. “Say you’re a family of four,” Butler says, “you could be paying up to a dollar extra just for the weight of the cups. So it’s important that the shops know how to use their scales.”

Now that the NCDA & CS inspectors have discovered that yogurt shops use scales, they’re keeping an eye out for them as they drive to other jobs. If they see a frozen yogurt shop while they’re out, they’ll step inside to inspect it. Most shops that have been violating are quick to correct their mistakes, which were usually made in ignorance, Butler says. A second offense would result in a notice of violation, and a third offender must pay a penalty of up to $5,000. So what can frozen yogurt eaters do to make sure they’re getting the most yogurt for their buck? “The bottom line is: the consumer needs to look and ask,” Butler says. “Make sure that the yogurt shop employee uses the tare. And if they’re not, the consumer needs to call me.”

Fortunately we have electronic scales available that make this process fairly easy to accommodate. Contact the sales staff today (919) 776-7737 and they will be happy to provide you prices for the scales that will work best to accommodate weighing frozen yogurt by the ounce and using the tare feature to subtract out the weight of the cup.

scale for weighing frozen yogurt by the ounce

We have standard legal for trade counter top scales. We have point of sale scales that can connect to your cash register. Finally, we have price computing scales that can display the weight and price on both the front of the scale and the back of the scale.

Weight Tolerances

Recently, I was informed of a situation that involved a digital infant scale and a “test weight” also known as a 5 pound consumer barbell weight. Apparently, the barbell weight was used to check the digital scale and it was thought that the scale had not been calibrated correctly due to a scale readout of 5.2 lbs.

Actually, consumer barbell weights like those used in the above scenario are manufactured to tolerances between +/-1% and +/-7%, a significant range of tolerance as compared to NIST certified test weights. Using a consumer barbell weight with a wider manufacturing accepted tolerance than the scale may result in a scale display reading that seems inaccurate. A +/-5% tolerance on a 5 pound consumer barbell weight means the weight can weigh from 4.75 lb to 5.25 lb and still be sold as a 5 pound weight. Compare that to a 5 pound NIST Class F weight which is manufactured and adjusted to within +/-230 mg tolerance. In the example above, the user contesting the calibration accuracy of the digital scale checked their consumer barbell weight again, this time on a certified Legal for Trade scale and found that it weighed 5.2 pounds, meaning the digital scale was correct.

We recommend using NIST certified Class F Sealed manufactured test weights in most applications to check or calibrate medical scales and industrial scales.

Why should I buy a scale that is “Legal-for-Trade” when I don’t intend to use it in a Commercial Weighing application?

There are a number of questions we get from time to time regarding legal for trade scales. Often, especially with floor scales we are asked “why should I buy a scale that is “Legal-for-Trade” when I don’t intend to use it in a commercial weighing setting”?

Defining a commercial weighing application can sometimes be a little tricky. Scales can be moved around and get used for things that maybe you didn’t originally intend.

Basically, an NTEP approved device is required any time money changes hands based on a scale’s reading. We sometimes call this legal for trade scales or we might call it NTEP certified equipment.

Freight scales, for example, must be NTEP approved. For these situations government requires that a scale must pass tests put forth by the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP). These regulations are meant to protect the consumer.

But if I were in the market for a scale, in most cases, I would want to choose a scale that was at least capable of passing NTEP testing and receiving an NTEP certificate.

If you think about it, we use a scale because we want to know an exact weight (as accurately as possible) and have trust in the information we view on the scale display.

NTEP approved floor scale

When selecting a scale to weigh your produce, or packages, would you choose one that’s been tested and approved by an independent third party as accurate, or would you rather have a scale that’s never been tested at all by an independent group?

NTEP Certified Commercial Scale

In most cases I would choose the scale that has been tested and received a conformance certificate.

Sure there are some markets and applications where NTEP certified scales are not really necessary. But when you’re comparing a legal for trade scale side by side with one that is non-ntep, ask yourself or your scale sales person a question. Could this non-ntep scale have earned a NTEP certificate of conformance?

If the answer is yes you may be ok with purchasing a non-ntep scale. The non ntep scale probably costs less, but is the scale accurate and stable as well?  How will you know for sure the scale is accurate? And if you need to replace it sooner than expected, how much money did you ultimately really save buying a non legal for trade scale?

If the sales person says no, the scale probably would not be capable of earning a certificate of conformance, that would cause me re-evaluate the product and my products that I’m looking to purchase.

Ultimately, it’s up to you the end user to decide what direction you want to to.

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Wrestling Scale Certification

Each year customers at middle school, high schools, and colleges contact our scale company looking to purchase certified digital scales to use for their wrestling team or sometimes they just simply want to get their old scale checked and certified. Most of the time the process is pretty simple. However, occasionally the customer is not certain about what rules or regulations they need to follow to weigh a wrestler. So, before you purchase a scale or have one certified, it might be a good idea to check with your athletic conference or sanctioning body or perhaps you have some type of “rule book” to make certain what rules you need to follow. For example, one rule that we have been told is that some states require schools to use a NTEP legal for trade scale (with CoC#) for weighing wrestlers.

certified wrestling scaleWhen it comes to actually certifying the scales, it is usually a good idea to get your wrestling scale certified annually. Generally, when we calibrate and certify the scale we normally look over the scale and make sure it appears to be functioning correctly. If something appears broken or missing such as a leveling foot, we might mention that on the paperwork or even recommend you purchase a replacement. We make sure the display is working correctly and showing all the digits and decimal point correctly. We also like to make sure the platform is solid. Also, if your scale has a rechargeable battery inside you might want to try charging it up and using it a few days before your scale check up to make sure it’s Continue reading

Legal For Trade Price Computing Scales State Testing Info You Can Use

legal for trade price computing scaleEvery year dozens and dozens of our customers either purchase new retail scales or they have their current legal for trade scale calibrated or certified. These are typically scales they can use at places like the farmers market to sell their fruits and vegetables by the pound. Basically any device used where items are bought or sold by weight is typically required by most state’s laws to be inspected and certified. This would include a counter top scale at a farmer’s market (or mechanical hanging scale) that is used to weigh produce that customers want to buy. Of course, inspecting a retail scale is an advantage to both the farmer and the customer.

I’ve mentioned this in the past but if you are buying or selling your items based on weight, you want to make sure that you purchase a scale that has NTEP approval. The certificate of conformance or CoC# should be on the side of the scale. The article below is also a good resource.

Keep in mind that no device is perfect and must be adjusted periodically. It is also recommended that you do not buy cheap quality scales that will likely not last. There are regional inspectors located across the state that will coordinate with the marketer to complete the certification. The inspectors have a set of standard weights calibrated annually for correctness. They will use these weights to test the marketer’s scales. Once you scale has been inspected you need to recertify every two years.  If the scale is out of tolerance (deemed inaccurate) a scale repair service must fix the scale or a new unit must be purchased. Click here to read entire article. Continue reading