The Secret Code Behind Your Bread Tags
They're actually incredibly helpful, once you know the trick.
Bread tags are the bane of every sandwich lover’s existence. As soon as you take the bread tag off your loaf, it’s pretty much guaranteed that that little piece of plastic will never fit onto the bread bag perfectly again. But while these tags feel like cruel and unusual punishment, they actually serve a purpose—beyond maintaining freshness—that many shoppers have no idea about.
Whereas dairy products like milk and yogurt prominently feature their sell-by dates on their containers, the expiration date on bread is displayed in a different manner, via these tags. The tags use a color-coded system, which correlates with the day that the bread was baked. Pretty genius, right?
Typically, stores will make sure not to stock loaves of bread that are more than a day old, but just in case they forget to remove the older products, you can memorize the chart above and make sure that what you’re buying is the freshest possible product. And if you’re not the best when it comes to memorization, there’s a little trick to help you remember the system. The colors are organized alphabetically by name: blue for Monday, green for Tuesday, red for Thursday, white for Friday, and yellow for Saturday.
By now, you’ve probably noticed that two days of the week are missing in the bread tags chart above. That’s because typically on Wednesdays and Sundays, bakers are given days off from making fresh loaves. So if you’re in the market for the freshest possible bread, avoid doing your grocery shopping on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Though some stores and brands have their own sell-by system, most of the major retailers abide by this bread tag methodology. So, the next time you head to the store for a fresh loaf of sourdough or multigrain, make sure to check the color of what once seemed like a pesky piece of plastic. And for more tips you can use while food shopping, don’t miss these 15 Grocery Shopping Mistakes That Are Killing Your Wallet.
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