Uses for Twist Ties

Certain food products packed in plastic bags are sealed with a twist tie. This is a guide about uses for twist ties.
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February 21, 2005 Flag
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When buying bread, look at the twist tie and it will tell you how old it is ... Each day has a different color, as follows: Monday = Blue, Tuesday = Green, Thursday = Red, Friday = White, Saturday = Yellow

By Brenda Cole

Editor's Note: I had never heard of this tip before. I wonder if this system is specific to one grocery store or chain or universally used.

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January 27, 20061 found this helpful

Most of the bread you'll find on U.S. supermarket shelves arrives housed in plastic wrappers closed by colored twist tags or plastic tabs. The tabs serve a purpose besides aiding in keeping the bread fresh once everyone in the family is diving into the loaf -- their colors provide a quick visual reference to the people whose job it is to recycle the stock by removing older loaves while loading the shelves with fresh product.

It's the removal part of the restocking process that's key to understanding why this bit of Internet advice isn't really worth the time it would take to memorize any code. Bread is not kept on the shelf for longer than a couple of days. Indeed, it's those colored twist tags that make this recycling of stock practical -- because of them, the restocker has an easy time recognizing which loaves have to be taken away.

Those tags assist mightily in your never getting stuck with an older loaf, even if you're not much of a bread squeezer. In the absence of the color cues, some of the older product might be overlooked by a harried clerk trying to read one tiny "Best Before" date after another. (By the by, some of these tags actually do have such dates printed on them, and in those cases the date does represent the date the bread is to be removed from the store, not the date it was baked on.) As it is, shoppers should never encounter more than two colors of tags on the shelf at any time for any one brand of bread: that of the most recent delivery and that of the one just before it. This will sometimes work out to being today's and yesterday's bakings, but there will generally be two days a week when no bread is delivered, thus a three-day spread will be represented by the two colors at stores that receive delivery only five times a week instead of seven.

In other words, since you're not going to encounter a loaf that's more than a few days old anyway, there's no earthly reason to mail off the astonishing news to the entire population of your online address book that there's a secret code worked into bread tags. Even without knowing the code, your friends and family are never going to get a stale loaf.

Is the color code quoted in the example applicable to every breadmaker's product? No, because there are different manufacturers out there, and each of them uses its own system -- there's no industry-wide standard. The code explained in the e-mail might or might not be the right one for the brand you're after so, caveat emptor: Placing blind reliance on the BGRWY code could well result in your consistently fetching home the older bread instead of the fresher stuff. Also, the schedule quoted above (fresh bread delivered every day except Wednesday and Sunday) doesn't hold true in every area.

Different stores can be on different rotations, and even within the same store some brands will be coming in five times a week, while others arrive seven days a week.

What to do if you're absolutely determined to have only the freshest bread on your table, now that you know there's a code you're set on making use of? Contact the manufacturer of your favorite brand and ask what (if any) color-coded tag system they adhere to and what their delivery schedule to your favorite store is, then let your selection be guided by that.

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July 3, 20070 found this helpful

what about the black twist ties from whole grain bread? anyone know what the black twist tie color stands for???

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December 27, 2000 Flag
Sheri0 found this helpful

When buying produce, be sure to use the ties the store provides. These work great for tying things together, wires, food bags, etc. I can always find a use for them.

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October 23, 20060 found this helpful

I keep my monthly bank statements in a 3 ring notebook provided by the bank, when get the last statement of year will put the twisty ties in at least 2 of the note book holes and it will keep them together for future reference, in a copy paper box, for as long as need to save them They are so usful and take up so little space.

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July 26, 2005 Flag
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When doing a craft that uses short lengths of fine wire and you happen to run out, you can use the wire in the twist ties.

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February 5, 2005 Flag
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What do you use with your twist ties?

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