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reading PRODUCE labels

good thing to remember while at the store..

Buy Organic produce whenever possible. The sticker bar code for organic produce begins with the number 9 . example: #94079 Conventional Produce has a sticker bar code that begins with the number 4. example: #4070. The bar code is know as PLU codes 8 is for genetically modified produce. example: 84011.


  • anyone know what the rest of the numbers are for though?

  • The 4 digits identify the specific fruit or vegetable. Pretty much all retailers use this standard 4 digit code for sales processing at checkout. I haven’t seen any with the #8 at the beginning. Is GMO produce now in stores? I know about GMO corn, soy and canola but didn’t think GMO produce was approved yet. Something new to watchout for.

  • suzyqsuzyq Raw Newbie

    That’s really interesting and helpful—thanks! I had no idea those numbers were a standardized system.

  • SarahJSarahJ Raw Newbie

    Fantastic – thanks very much.

  • this is something i found on a site.. cant remember where.. but i copy and pasted it and sent it out in an email not too long ago.. dont know about the GMO stuff.. but thats just what the site said to figure out which ones are..

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    some produce starts with a 3 also. i’ve heard (but cannot verify) that is also conventional.

  • SamiliciousSamilicious Raw Newbie

    This is not true everywhere. Here in BC, at the grocery store that I work at, all organic produce starts with the #10. For example, #10874. loveskale, where do you live?

    Also, is organic corn non GMO?

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    loveskale is talking about the US system.

  • sorry, i forgot that we ‘MERCINS werent the only ones on here for a sec!:) so.. tell us about other places.. are there standardized systems for produce?

  • Samilicious, however most conventional corn are genetically modified, organic corn can’t be GM, because GM is not allowed in anything organic!

  • I’m in Canada. Don’t know if our coding system is different than the USA. That said I do know that the base of a code for a fruit or vegetable is the same whether it is organic or conventional. For example a banana is #4011, organic #94011. Bananas have different numbers for different varietes like baby banana or red banana. Atleast in Ontario its like that.

  • Check out this website http://www.plucodes.com “International Federation for Produce Standards”

    In the F.A.Q.’s they say this for organic produce: “Add a ‘9’ in front of the four digit PLU code. An organically grown standard yellow banana would be ‘94011’. Currently, PLU codes for conventionally grown product fall within the 3000 and 4000 ranges.”

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