Weighing up - increased enforcement from TDA on commercial scales

Jan 25

Though the law isn’t new, the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) is focusing on a relatively new enforcement effort by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) concerning commercial scales, which is causing problems and even fines for some restaurant operators.

TDA requires that all businesses that sell items to customers based upon the unit’s measure – such as selling food by ounce or pound, must have a scale that is ‘legal for trade’ and officially registered with TDA. Recently, TDA has turned its enforcement efforts to the restaurant industry. Which means, if you operate a barbeque restaurant or a yogurt shop or a salad bar – any establishment that sells food by weight, you are a target.

TDA requires registration stickers to be in ‘plain sight, legible to, and physically accessible to the average consumer (of weighted or measured products sold or offered for sale) at the registered location.’ However, many restaurants keep their scales either behind a counter, in the back or out of sight from the customer. Changing the countertop and/or pay station in order to make the sticker visible can be time consuming and costly.

Plus, failing to register can carry up to a $100 fine for each device and penalties of $50 per scale on top of that after a 30-day grace period to come into compliance. Not displaying the registration sticker prominently can carry a fine of up to $500.

TRA is working diligently on this issue and will be introducing a bill very soon which will protect restaurants from this burdensome regulation.

If you have been inspected by TDA or have any information on this issue, TRA would like to hear from you. Please contact Kenneth Besserman at or call 512-457-4100.

Watch our TRA News Now on this issue.


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