Shoppers fuming after learning meaning behind ‘e’ symbol on packets of meat

With the cost of living crisis, many Brits are taking a closer look at their weekly shop and making cheaper swaps – but some feel cheated after learning what a symbol on food packets really means

Above the shoulder view of woman holding a pack of beef mince in a supermarket.
Many didn’t know what the symbol on the packet meant (stock photo)

As many people across the country struggle amid the current cost of living crisis, they’ll be turning to money-saving hacks to cut costs of their energy bills and making savvy swaps in the shop to lowed the price of their groceries.

Subsequently, shoppers are taking a closer look at products to ensure they are getting the best value for their buck, and as part of this, one woman has been left shocked after learning what the ‘e’ symbol on packets of food – including meat – really means.

Taking to the Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK group on Facebook, a user wrote: “NOT a coupon or bargain but maybe something to think about… are we getting what we pay for?

The ‘e’ symbol is next to the weight on the packet



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“Bought what I assumed was 500g, as stated on the pack, but in reality got 456g! Not a lot of difference I know but it just makes me wonder…”

The shopper was referring to the ‘e’ symbol on a packet of mince she had purchased.

The symbol is usually placed by the weight on the packet and is used to indicate that the number might not be exact.

According to Positive ID Labels, the symbol shows that the weight is “within a small margin of inaccuracy”.

They said: “On foods, the e symbol is used to ensure the consumer is fully aware that the weight is compliant with the Weights and Measures Regulations 2006. Basically, the weight on the packet is within a small margin of inaccuracy.

“It is used to ensure that the consumer knows the weight of the product may not be exactly the same as the weight indicated on the packaging. The e symbol is only used in Europe.”

More than 1,600 people commented on the Facebook post, with many admitting they also didn’t know this previously and others recommending using a local butcher to buy meat, instead of going to the supermarket.

One person said: “I was today years old when I learned this.”

Another wrote: “I only found that out a few months ago too.”

A third replied: “We are being ripped off and should stand up against it! Call out that injustice where we see it.”

Someone else added: “If you go to your local butcher they’ll measure it out perfectly (and if you’re nice to them they usually stick a bit extra in too).”

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