Consumer Services, Metrology and Food/Feed Safety

The SC Department of Agriculture’s Consumer Protection Division has many departments to safeguard the citizens of South Carolina. Clemson Extension Agent and Host of “Making It Grow” Amanda McNulty talks with Assistant Commissioner Derek Underwood about some of these departments: Consumer Services, Metrology and Food/Feed Safety. Consumer Services Department protects consumers by ensuring that the net content statements on packages and weighing or measuring devices are correct; and that agricultural products are measured accurately for commerce. This department is responsible for drawing official samples of motor fuels, some foods, feed, and agricultural product for the Department’s Laboratory Division to ensure the quality of these products.

Consumer Services also regulates cotton and grain warehouse storage facilities. The Metrology Lab provides NIST traceable calibrations for mass and volume standards, calibrates equipment for our state inspectors and private scale and pump service companies for the enforcement of weights and measures regulations. Calibration services are available upon request to any business, industry, or government agency requiring NIST traceability for a fee.

Food/Feed Safety & Compliance ensures that foods and feeds are manufactured and marketed under safe and sanitary conditions through routine surveillance inspections. Inspectors ensure that food is pure and wholesome, safe to eat, and properly labeled according to laws and regulations. The department also regulates foods manufactured for wholesale distribution and foods manufactured, packaged and transported to farmers markets and other direct-to-consumer markets. Annual registration of commercial feed and pet food is also conducted, along with inspections to check feed labeling for compliance with regulations.