A person who sells plastic silverware and plates, cups, etc in large quantities received a shipment with many plastic plates. He opened up a number of the boxes to check if the order is correct. He found in 2 boxes instead of being what was 50 sets of plates there was only 40. To open up every box would take a long time. Is there anyway to assume that the other boxes have the right amount in them and can sell them as 50? Or now since he found 2 boxes with a small quantity that he should have to check all the other boxes first before selling them? (Obviously the ones that have 40 he will tell the buyer before selling them).
A second shailo. If he found among some of the sets of plates only 49 and not 50 can he sell this to another retailer as “50” without being modia that there is only 49 in a few of them? The plates he believes are measured from the company in weight and not be each individual plate could be here a good possibility that some might have 1 more or 1 less.
This is an interesting question.
It appears that he does not have to check the other boxes, and can sell them as containing 50.
We find concerning checking food for insects (Yoreh De’ah 84:9) that finding two insects in a sampling of food does not prohibit the entire food, and there is no obligation to worry about there being other bugs in the food. Only if three are found does one have to worry, whereupon the entire food becomes prohibited.
This is based on the general principle that less than three occurrences are attributed to chance, and are not considered a reliable indication of a particular phenomenon. Although Rebbi maintains that twice is enough for an assumption to arise, poskim are only stringent for this opinion concerning matters of sakanah (danger), and not for matters of issur (general prohibitions).
Therefore, because only two faulty samples were found, one does not have to be concerned for the rest. Yet, it is proper to inform the customer that he should check the quantity after his purchase.
A box of 49 can’t be sold as a box of 50, unless there’s a notice informing buyers that 50 can possible be one off.