FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — Gas pumps are back open at Sam’s Club in Fort Walton Beach after the Florida Department of Agriculture suspended the store for selling substandard gasoline. Cars lined up during the day Friday for the $3.86/gallon unleaded gas.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said a customer complaint led to the inspection and closing of the pumps at the Beal Parkway store on July 13. The state inspector said the fuel contained water, sediment, and/or suspended matter.
The pumps were closed Thursday and into Friday morning. Repair crews were on-site Thursday after Sam’s Club staff said there was a broken part in the unleaded fuel system.
Staff at Sam’s Club on Friday told WKRG News 5 that crews completed the repair faster than expected. FDACS said inspectors came to the facility Friday morning and reopened the pumps.
“They met all the criteria of rectifying the substandard fuel and are now utilizing the promissory release and selling,” said Erin Moffet, Director of Communications & Federal Affairs with FDACS.
The state said a new sample has been taken for inspection and all policies are being followed. FDACS said all complaints filed online are taken seriously.
Past Inspections for Sam’s Club in Fort Walton Beach:
FDACS said the last time Sam’s Club in Fort Walton Beach was inspected for fuel was in March of 2020.
Our Bureau of Standards conducted a price verification inspection within the Sam’s Club store on May 25, 2021; performed a skimmer-focused inspection following a consumer complaint on August 20, 2020 (no skimmers were found); and conducted a fuel inspection on March 6, 2020.Erin Moffet, Director of Communications & Federal Affairs with FDACS
More about FDACS petroleum testing standards:
“FDACS samples and tests for fuel quality during our routine and complaint-based inspections, visiting thousands of stations every year – stop sales such as this are fairly routine. Samples collected by our field staff are sent to one of our two fuel labs in the state for analysis, where our chemists perform a variety of tests using various types of instrumentation. FDACS also monitors and tests the fuel at the ports of entry to identify bulk fuel contamination before it reaches local stations.
“There is no set inspection frequency as stations are generally inspected based on a risk factor, which is calculated on items such as the last inspection date, previous inspection results, number of consumer complaints, etc.”
— Erin Moffet, Director of Communications & Federal Affairs with FDACS