14 December, 2008

The UPC Never Lies.

Handy to know in these times of very troublingly contaminated Chinese goods and foods, are the barcodes, the UPC codes, on packaging.

The resellers and retailers who would rather see you buy the cheaper Chinese products will obviously try and obfuscate the country of origin as much as possible, given all the recent bad (and deservedly so) publicity Chinese product has been getting.  But the UPC codes (those barcodes generally printed as part of the packaging) have to be true and correct.

So by knowing which barcodes to avoid, you can save yourself and your family from lead or melamine or other contaminant poisoning.  And it's not as difficult as you'd think.  Look at the first three digits of the UPC barcode, this is the three digit country number.  The ones to watch out for: 690 to 695 are all  made in China.  471 is made in Taiwan.
A UPC Code
Here are a few more - you can safely forget these again, as long as you remember 690 - 695 and 471.

00  ~ 13 USA & CANADA
30  ~ 37 FRANCE
40  ~ 44 GERMANY
49  ~ JAPAN
50  ~ UK
57  ~ Denmark
64  ~ Finland
76  ~ Switzerland and Liechtenstein
741 ~ Taiwan
628  ~ Saudi-Arabia
629  ~ United Arab Emirates
690 - 695 ~ China
740  ~ 745 - Central America
All  480 Codes are made in the  Philippines.

Here's an article on barcodes, and here's a bigger list of countries if you like that kind of thing/

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very useful, thanks.
However, it should be clarified that the UPC does not indicate the country of manufacture, but rather, the country that issued the code.
Although, it is highly unlikely that Taiwan/China would be issuing codes for each other.
So, no to 6-, yes to 4-.

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