What the little ‘e’ symbol means on your packet of supermarket meat 

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What the little ‘e’ symbol means on your packet of supermarket meat 

Australian supermarket shoppers have recently discovered that their pre-packaged meats weigh less than the advertised amount in grams, and a small sym

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Australian supermarket shoppers have recently discovered that their pre-packaged meats weigh less than the advertised amount in grams, and a small symbol on the packet might be to blame.

When a Woolworths customer shared a photo of their $7.50 lean beef mince last week measuring 262g – rather than the 500g it was meant to be – the internet erupted in anger.

But one well informed social media user pointed out that the letter ‘e’ next to the weight stands for estimate, meaning the amount doesn’t necessarily have to be the same on the packet, but does have to be ‘close’ to it. 

‘The “e” sign on a food label indicates that the volume or weight of the product is an average value,’ it reads on FoodInfo.net. 

An unhappy customer has claimed her 500g Woolworths lean mince weighed in at barely half the amount stated on packet (scales pictured), but the 'e' symbol is to blame

An unhappy customer has claimed her 500g Woolworths lean mince weighed in at barely half the amount stated on packet (scales pictured), but the 'e' symbol is to blame

An unhappy customer has claimed her 500g Woolworths lean mince weighed in at barely half the amount stated on packet (scales pictured), but the ‘e’ symbol is to blame

What does the ‘e’ symbol represent on a packet of meat? 

‘The “e” sign on a food label indicates that the volume or weight of the product is an average value,’ said FoodInfo.net

‘Packaging machines in the food industry are not completely accurate; there will always be a margin of inaccuracy.’ 

‘Packaging machines in the food industry are not completely accurate; there will always be a margin of inaccuracy.’ 

Internationally, the mark is used to certify that the contents of the package ‘comply with specified criteria for estimation’.  

It comes after the customer who purchased the mince vowed to no longer buy meat from Woolworths, who both attach the ‘e’ symbol to its produce.    

‘Seriously Woolworths… I have been buying this mince like this for a while and (it is) not cheap due to trying to cut out fat,’ the shopper Mandy wrote on Facebook.

‘I weighed it today and there is less than 300g in a supposed 500g pack! 

A customer also also complained on February 2 she had paid for 1.464kg of chicken breast (packaging pictured) but weighed out only 1.370kg - claiming 125g was packaging

A customer also also complained on February 2 she had paid for 1.464kg of chicken breast (packaging pictured) but weighed out only 1.370kg - claiming 125g was packaging

A customer also also complained on February 2 she had paid for 1.464kg of chicken breast (packaging pictured) but weighed out only 1.370kg – claiming 125g was packaging

‘And yes my scales are fine. I use them daily. How many people are you ripping off including the packaging weight?’ 

Woolworths audits its products regularly and uses commercial scales to make sure their food complies with weight requirements.

But other shoppers were also not impressed with the claimed disparity in weight.

‘I had the same problem. I now ask them to weigh everything in store before I take it,’ one fellow shopper said.

‘Wow! I never thought to weigh feed,’ another wrote.

In a statement provided to Daily Mail Australia, a Woolworths spokesperson said the company had made contact with the customer to get more information on the claim.

Another customer was infuriated this month after buying moisture infused meat but still having to pay $20 per kg

Another customer was infuriated this month after buying moisture infused meat but still having to pay $20 per kg

Another customer was infuriated this month after buying moisture infused meat but still having to pay $20 per kg

‘We want our customers to shop with the confidence they’re getting what they’re paying for,’ the spokesperson said.

‘We have a range of checks and balances in place to help ensure our products comply with trade measurement requirements.’

The report comes after another Woolworths customer claimed on February 2 she had paid for 1.464kg of chicken breast (packaging pictured) but weighed out only 1.370kg – with 125g of packaging.

Another customer was infuriated this month after buying moisture infused meat but still having to pay $20 per kg.

‘Please explain why meat is now “moisture infused”,’ the unhappy customer wrote.

‘Basically we now have to have water in our meat and also pay for it at $20 per kg.’ 

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