Ever wonder how they were able to track down a tainted food product when there's a recall? The FDA has a uniform coding process on all packaging. And in the case of milk products, the coding tells you exactly the state and plant where it originated. Here's how to tell where your glass of milk originates.

The FDA's National Uniform Coding System was established in the 60's. In the examples below the code is located next to the expiration date. and breaks down like this. The first two numbers represent the state. This being milk from our fridge, obviously it would be from New York.  Each state is assigned a number. (NY - 36).  And if you're wondering, it's done alphabetically. Alabama being 01, Alaska 02, etc.

TSM

After the dash, the next series of numbers identifies the plant where the milk processed. In New York, these can range from 2 to 4 digits. 8185 in this picture is Garelick Farms in Rensselaer. Here's a list of every dairy in New York and their corresponding number.

A salute to Bill Dunn who brought this to our attention.

SOURCE: FDA.gov

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