MADISON, Wis. – Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods Group agreed to pay a fine of $13,911.50 and take system-wide corrective actions after the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection discovered underweight packages of Oscar Mayer-brand lunch meat in several stores.
The fine is the company’s third in two years for violations of Wisconsin’s weights and measures statutes. As part of the agreement, Kraft admitted no wrongdoing.
The underweight packages included eight packages of Oscar Mayer brand cooked ham and one package of Oscar Mayer brand honey ham, according to the agency. The underweight packages were found in Beloit, Dodgeville, Plover, Racine, Watertown, Waukesha and Wisconsin Rapids. The problem was discovered by the state’s Consumer Protection Bureau during inspections conducted in June and July 2012.
In addition to paying the fine, Kraft agreed to take corrective actions system-wide and at the company’s Davenport, Iowa facility. The system-wide actions include:
• installing checkweighers (scales integrated in the assembly line that measure each package) on all production lines within the next five years at an estimated $10 million cost to the company;
• assessing the capability of all existing checkweighers by conducting a measurement system analysis;
• revising the end‐of‐shift net weight document review process to include a review to confirm that plant personnel followed net weight compliance procedures during the production run; and
• providing training for all quality teams and regular follow‐up activities for quality managers.
Corrective actions at the Davenport plant include:
• conducting net weight verification checks every 15 minutes production line 4 for six months following the date on which those checks began (Aug. 27, 2012);
• changing the layout of the production line to improve the transition points between conveyor belts with the goal of enhancing checkweigher performance; and
• conducting a failure modes and effects analysis of production line 4.