Pa. may do away with weight restrictions on potato packaging

    Pennsylvania’s weight restrictions on potato packages may soon be peeled away as a measure ending the odd practice heads to Gov. Tom Corbett for consideration.

    In the meantime, stores and packagers that have run afoul of state law that potatoes can only be sold in packages of certain weights look on.

    Bob Finn, store manager at Wegmans in Cumberland County, has been flagged by state enforcement officers before for selling a 5-pound bag that contained only 4.25 pounds of potatoes.

    It might have been a bigger hassle for the potato packager supplying the products, he said.

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    “I would imagine it’s a hardship on them,” Finn said Monday. “But I did know that we had to create a separate order on our order guide, so we had to make sure we ordered the right potatoes so that we were in compliance and there would have been a separate slot in the warehouse for these.”

    State law requires that potatoes be sold in packages weighing three pounds, five pounds, 10 pounds, 15, 20, 25, 50 pounds, and then multiples of 100 pounds.

    The restrictions date back to 1913, though the original intent of specific weight rules remains a mystery.

    The bill sped through the both chambers of the state Legislature, but a technical amendment in the House means it needs one more final vote in the Senate.

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