Thursday, July 11, 2013

Did you Check Your Food Label Today?

ROXIE, MS -  It is always good to know 'where' a product is 'made' or manufactured prior to purchase.  With the world getting smaller and smaller some products are made in other countries and the product label is not all that clear as to the product origin.  So the question is. How do we really know?  One good rule is always read the labels and the UPC (bar code) on the foods or products you buy.  No matter what the front of the box or package says, turn it over and also read the back carefully.  Then compare the UPC as to the source. 

With all the food and pet products now coming from other countries, it is best to make sure you read all labels at the supermarket and especially when buying food products. Many products no longer show where they were made, only give where the distributor is located. The whole world is concerned about 'the quality of products, when they were  made and where they were grown or packaged".

471 Indicates -  Made in Taiwan
Let us take a look at how to read bar codes ... rather than the product label.  It is two very different labels.   

For example. When you read a label can you differentiate which one is made in Taiwan or China ?   It is important to read the bar code to track its origin.  How to read Bar codes is interesting and one of the most reliable if you compare it with the product label!

If the first 3 digits of the bar code are 690, 691 or 692, the product is Made in China. If it is 471 it is Made in Taiwan. If the first 3 digits of the bar code are 00-09 then it's made or sourced in USA. 

We need to educate ourselves about labels because  the government and its related departments never seem to educate the general public.  Product standards set for labels (non UPC labels) sometimes do not require an origin but only the indication of a  distribution company especially in private label products purchased by large retailers or distributors.  Many labels do not show true manufacturing points. However, you may now refer to the bar code (UPC) since it is a tracking number used to show an international origin.  It must contain international tracking information in addition to its common use as price scanning for retail or wholesale price.  You are much safer in discovering the origin  if you know how to read the bar code label.  Examples: 

Remember if the first 3 digits are:

890   ...... India
690, 691, 692 ... China
00 - 09 ... USA and Canada 
30 - 37 ... France 
40 - 44 ... Germany 
471 ........ Taiwan (see example picture)
45 or 49 ........ Japan 
489...........Hong Kong 
50 .......... United Kingdom
57 .........Denmark  
76......... Switzerland and Lienchtenstien  
628.........Saudi Arabia  
629.........United Arab Emirates  
740 - 745 - Central America 
480 ..... Philippines 

There are countries that are not on this short list such as South America / Mexico.  One of the best articles for more information can be found by clicking here.  

The best final source and 'an authority' on tracking a product(s) or true origin manufacture through a national/worldwide data base is Gregg London ... you may view his site by clicking here. 

As with checking the 'best price' we should also check the labels. Both on the packaging and the Universal Pricing Code (UPC) for as much information as possible. 

Source: FCNews Staff