Christmas ham inspectors out to make sure we get what we pay for

Inspectors have been deployed to carry out a pre-Christmas blitz on… ham… and prawns and other festive favourites.

The federal government wants to make sure Aussie families get every single gram they pay for this festive season.

Around 650 businesses will be audited by the National Measurement Institute (NMI) this week – to ensure they’re complying with trade measurement law.


Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews says Australians should be able to feel confident they’re not getting ripped off for Christmas lunch.

“Every dollar counts, particularly around Christmas time, so our inspectors will be looking closely at sales of seasonal goods such as hams and prawns to ensure Australians aren’t ripped off by scrooges using dodgy scales or weights.

“The national audit will include a focus on businesses previously found to be in breach of trade measurement law, to ensure they’ve taken appropriate actions and are once again doing the right thing,” Minister Andrews said.

Inspectors will operate in a ‘secret shopper’ style, trialling purchases to make sure businesses are following correct trading practices, such as properly accounting for the weight of packaging materials when selling over the counter.

Scales will also be checked to confirm they’re fit for trade use and measuring accurately, and packaged goods will also be checked to ensure they contain the amount of product claimed.

Businesses found to be breaking the rules could cop fines over $1,000 per offence.

If the case is serious enough for a prosecution, the maximum fines are $210,000 per offence for a company or $42,000 per offence for an individual.

For more information or to report a suspected breach of the rules, contact the national trade measurement helpline on 1300 686 664 or