Teaspoon of ketchup costs Heinz half a million

A US couple have received $180,000 from Heinz because a ketchup bottle was underfilled by one and a half ounce.

A US couple have received $180,000 from Heinz because a ketchup bottle was underfilled by one and a half ounce.

Bill and Marcia Baker discovered the 20oz bottle, worth 90p, was underfilled while baking five years ago.

The teaspoonful amount of red sauce has now cost the company $830,000 in all.

Heinz agreed to pay the Baker's, from Redding, California, compensation and to overfill all bottles by one per cent for a year to compensate.

Mr Baker, 67, made the chance discovery after deciding to bake some meatloaf, reports the Redding Record newspaper.

When he poured the thick sauce into measuring cups, he realized he didn't quite have the 20 ounces the recipe called for. He called the local council out of curiosity.

Weights and measures officials found the bottle and several others weren't up to their listed weight. A five-year long investigation found millions of bottles under-filled.

Michael Mullen, spokesman for Heinz, said, "Once we realized there was a minute shortfall in quantity, the company addressed the issue immediately."

The missing ketchup amounted to no more than a teaspoon per bottle.

Heinz paid the Bakers $180,000, about £126,000 compensation. Overfilling the bottles for a year will cost the company a further $650,000, about £420,000.

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