Whole Foods Will Pay $800,000 for Price-Gouging L.A. Shoppers at the Salad Bar

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Whole Foods in Venice, California. Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

The Santa Monica city attorney's office released the results of a year-long investigation yesterday indicating, in a way, what we all knew: that some people have been paying way too much for their quinoa-and-sun-dried-tomato-medley salads. Shoppers were charged for the weight of containers at various stores, and some paid more than they should have because workers put "smaller amounts into packages than the weight stated on the label," while others were charged by the piece for some groceries rather than by the pound. The investigation covered prepared foods, the olive bar, and even meats and seafood. Whole Foods released a statement saying its own in-store review indicated pricing of "weighed and measured items was accurate 98% of the time," but the natural- and organic-foods grocer now faces penalties of $800,000. [LAT]