Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

PLU codes: this is what the stickers on fruit and vegetables mean

You have probably already seen them: the small stickers on apples, bananas and other fruits and vegetables, containing a four or five-digit number. But do you know what these so-called PLU codes mean?

What are PLU codes?
PLU means ‘price-look-up’. Initially, these codes are meant for cashiers, who enter this number in their cash register, and therefore registers the correct price. Each fruit strain has its own code. The IFPS, the International Federation for Produce Standards, is responsible for making the PLU codes.

What do PLU codes mean?
The rumour that customers could see from the PLU code whether a product had been genetically modified, circulated for a long time. A five-digit number starting with 8 would have been the clue that this was the case. While it is true that codes starting with 8 once indicated that this was a genetically modified product, this is no longer the case. By now, organically cultivated fruits and vegetables can also be marked with a PLU code starting with 8. Some fruit and vegetables strains have PLU codes starting with 83 or 84, but they have been organically cultivated.

Foods on which the PLU code starts with the number 9, have definitely been organically cultivated. Four-digit codes starting with 3 or 4, however, should indicate that the fruit or vegetable has been cultivated by including the use of pesticides and artificial fertiliser. 

Publication date: 1/23/2017



Other news in this sector:

11/16/2017 US (VT): Produce Safety Improvement Grant Program accepting applications
11/15/2017 'Sugar-glass' film uses viruses to kill harmful bacteria in food
11/14/2017 US (CO): Produce safety symposium comes to CSU
11/13/2017 US: Report finds 50% of domestic and imported food pesticide free
11/10/2017 Food Safety Supercharger lands in Australia
11/10/2017 Scorpion found in package of berries in Toronto, Canada
11/10/2017 Making CanadaGAP work on your farm
11/1/2017 EFSA to strengthen international cooperation during China visit
10/26/2017 "Consumers see ‘organic’ and ‘non-GM’ food labels as synonymous"
10/25/2017 China to complete product quality traceability system by 2020
10/25/2017 Mann Packing recalls lettuce across US and Canada
10/24/2017 US (IL): BrightFarms recalls packaged salads over fears of E.coli
10/20/2017 Fresh cut vegetables recalled across North America after Listeria found
10/19/2017 Croatian platform makes FNV origin available for consumers
10/11/2017 Australia: Enhanced molecular technology set to improve and better safeguard Vic agriculture
10/5/2017 "Hallucinogen-tainted" Bonduelle spinach recalled in Italy
10/5/2017 Cambodia PM urges citizens to stop buying 'chemically grown vegetables'
9/27/2017 Contaminants in processed and fresh market vegetable crops
9/26/2017 European Parliament president visits EFSA
9/18/2017 Accredited Dutch food and food-related laboratories for Japan