In some countries these plastic closures are used with color codes to indicate important data about the state of the bread.
Whether it’s sliced bread from a large supermarket chain, or from the small neighborhood store, most of these transparent or semi-transparent bags share a particular characteristic: are usually tied with a small plastic bow. In Spain, that tie is usually white, but not all countries are so simple.
In fact, in the United States, the closing loop for bread bags in general, and for sliced bread in particular, gives much more information than might be believed at first. Here, in Spain, the color of the bow is usually different according to the color of the wrapper, without further ado.
In the North American country, the plastic ties used to close bread bags have a clear objective: indicate how fresh the bread is of the wrapper.
Generally, commercial bread is baked and delivered on a strict schedule. It comes out of the oven and hits the supermarket shelves five days of the week, but said bread is not always baked that same day.
The color of the bread ties that close the bags indicates the day of the week the bread was baked. There, the bakeries are closed on Wednesdays and Sundays, and open the rest of the days, so there are five different colors to remember to know what day the bread we are going to buy was baked.
This color system help store staff rotate bread fresh on the inside, and the “older” bread on the outside, so it is likely that you will only see two colors in the first rows and you would have to look carefully for the bread you need.
But, in addition, also you have to pay attention to the labels. Although it is true that there may be confusion, the date provided by the bread is not the day it was baked, but the expiration date. This, together with the color code, can be misleading.
In this case, and remembering that on Wednesdays and Sundays there is usually no bread in the United States, the color code is as follows:
– Monday: blue ribbon
– Tuesday: green ribbon
– Thursday: red ribbon
– Friday: white ribbon
– Saturday: yellow ribbon
The system is obviously not infallible. Not all bakeries follow it, and it is more typical of large surfaces than of small local stores.
In fact, It issystem is not specific to bread, but also in the labeling of milk. Again, in the United States: the color of the milk bottle caps would correspond to the percentage of fat in each type of dairy:
– Blue or yellow would indicate 2% milk
– Green would indicate 1% milk
– Red would indicate whole milk
– Purple would indicate skimmed milk
Once again, as happens with bread, it is not a system imposed on all stores and brands. It is common and quite widespread, as in the case of bread ties. But, again, the best option to not end up making a mistake in the purchase is to pay close attention to the labeling.