Where's the beef? Ruby Tuesday supplier cited for short-weighted steaks

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If you've eaten a steak at Ruby Tuesday and wondered why it seemed smaller than you expected, you might not be imagining things. The restaurant chain's meat supplier was cited by Massachusetts officials after an inspection showed widespread short-weighting of shipments of its steaks.

After a consumer complained to the state that his steak seemed too small, inspectors visited Ruby Tuesday to check. They ended up going to five different restaurants and found steaks smaller than their advertised weights at every one of the restaurants.
"Our entire consumer economy is built on trust," Consumer Affairs Undersecretary Barbara Anthony told WalletPop. "If you cant trust you are getting what you are paying for, that's unacceptable."

The meat served at the restaurants all came from Colorado Premium Foods of Greely, Colo. The meat arrives in what are supposed to be 14-pound boxes, Consumer Affairs spokesman Jason Lefferts said. However, these boxes weighed less. Colorado officials confirmed their findings at an inspection at the plant. Colorado Premium was fined $700 by the state.

Colorado Premium officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

This wouldn't be such a big issue if Ruby Tuesday's menu didn't advertise its steaks by their size, from the seven-ounce sirloin to the 12-ounce rib eye, says Anthony. The weight is allowed to deviate by half an ounce so that a 7-ounce steak, for instance, can weigh anywhere from 6.5 ounces to 7.5 ounces.

A Ruby Tuesday spokeswoman said she is confident that although the boxes were lighter than billed, the steaks served to customers were not. She noted that the restaurant chain has not been cited for any violations.

"We have investigated the situation and discovered that although the weight on the carton labels was incorrect, all steaks served to our guests were within plus or minus one-half ounce of the uncooked weight stated on our menus, which is within specifications," spokeswoman Meridith Hammond wrote in an email. "We want our guests to know we serve high-quality food and give our customers just what our menu represents."

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