Breweries found lacking on scales

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Use of unapproved scales can land breweries with hefty fines
Use of unapproved scales can land breweries with hefty fines

Related tags: Drinks

A quarter of breweries are not using Trade Approved scales, despite potentially risking fines of more than £1,000 and even imprisonment for not doing so, according to a survey by the Marsden Weighing Group.

Using Trade Approved scales in breweries is essential – for example, when bottled goods display the weight or kegs are sold to customers based on the amount of beer inside.

Non-approved weighing scales have not undergone the appropriate level of testing, so may not have the level of accuracy needed for these tasks.

Inadequate awareness

In addition to revealing that only 75% claimed to be using the correct scales, the survey of more than 200 UK breweries indicated that 88% believed there was inadequate awareness about the requirement for Trade Approved weighing scales in breweries.

Mark Coates, operations director at Marsden, added: “This year Marsden has had a record number of breweries calling us for help with buying suitable weighing scales. In almost every case, they have been visited by Trading Standards or SALSA​ [Safe And Local Supplier Approval] inspectors and been told the scales they use are not suitable.”

Compliance with regulations

Mark Easterbrook from Pheasantry Brewery, who took part in the survey, said: “The only reason I changed my weighing scales was my understanding was raised when I did the SALSA accreditation. We do cask and bottle beer, so it’s important we can demonstrate that we comply with current regulations.”

Craig Fisher of Sheffield Trading Standards said: “Any checks carried out in breweries to ensure the volume being sold is accurate must be done using Trade Approved equipment. The weighing of ingredients to be added to the recipe, however, is not controlled weighing, so the scale here does not need to be Trade Approved.

“Inspectors will check scales to ensure they have the correct markings if they are deemed to be used for trade.”

Related topics: Drinks, Legal

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