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Whole Foods pays $500,000 to settle overcharging probe

Whole Foods store Image copyright Whole Foods

Upmarket US grocery chain Whole Foods has agreed to pay $500,000 (£338,000) to settle accusations by New York authorities that it routinely overcharged customers.

The city's Department for Consumer Affairs (DCA) said the firm had to meet standards on weighing and labelling.

The deal means customers "are better protected from overcharging", it said.

Whole Foods admitted to making mistakes but said there was "no evidence of systematic or intentional misconduct".

It said it agreed to the settlement, which was below the $1.5m originally demanded by the DCA, "to put this issue behind us so that we can continue to focus our attention on providing New York city customers with the highest level of quality and service".

The DCA first accused Whole Foods in June after an investigation found mislabelled weights on 80 types of pre-packaged products it tested.

The natural foods and organic retailer, which has outlets in the UK, was said to have overstated weights of pre-packaged meat, dairy and baked products.

Last year, Whole Foods agreed to pay $800,000 in penalties and improve pricing accuracy after a separate investigation into alleged pricing irregularities in California.

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