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Cheese maker fined for overcharging customers

Monday November 11, 2002

The Associated Press 


SANTA ANA – A cheese manufacturer has been fined $300,000 after being accused of selling packaged products that weighed less than their labels indicated. 

Without admitting wrongdoing, Sorrento Lactalis Inc., which produces and distributes such specialty brands as Precious, Mountain Farms, and Dairy Fresh, agreed to pay the fine to settle a lawsuit brought by the consumer protection units of the district attorney’s offices in six counties. 

The Buffalo, N.Y.-based company, which has two plants in California, was accused of mismarking weight by as much as 12 percent due to poor quality control, said Orange County Deputy District Attorney Andrea L. Burke. 

Sorrento Lactalis cooperated fully in the investigation and made several changes to prevent future problems, including buying new equipment to better regulate its packaging, Burke said. 

The case was initiated by inspectors from the California Department of Food and Agriculture Division of Measurement Standards in 19 counties.