What You Need To Know About The Number On Your Dairy Product Containers

Most people don’t think twice about the printed numbers they see on the side of milk cartons, yogurt containers, and cheese packages, except to check for the expiration date. However, these letters and numbers can actually tell you quite a bit about the product your purchase. And, if you’re making a goal to support more local businesses, these numbers may help with that too.

The numbers you see on packages are used to help track products. This allows a company to provide information in the event of a recall, track product, and maintain proper production records. And technology is making it even easier to track exactly where your food came from, according to Food Safety News.

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You can find the codes near the top of your milk and/or on the very top or bottom of other containers like yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream. If you still can’t find the code, check the label, according to Where is My Milk From.

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The code you are most interested in should begin with two numbers between 01 and 56, according to Where is My Milk From. The code you are looking for does not begin with a letter, though there may be letters before the code (like PLT).

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After the first two numbers will be a series of more numbers (between one and five numbers long.) This second number may or may not include a dash. The correct code will not have a colon, so keep scanning if that’s what you see. As an example, at the milk photo at the top of the article. The code you can use to find where that gallon came from is 06-407.

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Once you’ve found the code, visit the Where is My Milk From website, and enter your doe into the box at the top left-hand side of the page. This code will track your milk, cheese or yogurt all the way back to its original source. Pretty cool right?!

According to the CISA, almost 13 percent of the nation’s milk is produced in Massachusetts, but supporting local dairies and farms can help boost your local economy. You can also support local farms by purchasing your products directly from them (some even offer home delivery!)


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