What does the price look-up (PLU) code on produce indicate?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
The little tag on fruits and vegetables -- called the price look-up (PLU) code -- holds a world of info:
  • A four-digit PLU code starting with the number 4 indicates conventionally grown and not genetically modified. Produce with this code may have been sprayed with synthetic pesticides.
  • A five-digit code beginning with 9 indicates organic, not genetically modified.
  • A five-digit code starting with an 8 indicates genetically modified.

Continue Learning about Food Production & Health

Choose This Spinach Container for More Vitamins
Choose This Spinach Container for More Vitamins
When you buy spinach at the grocery store, should you grab the bagged spinach way deep in the dark shelf or opt for the clear plastic tub basking in f...
Read More
What fruits and vegetables are the most contaminated with pesticides?
Margaret FloydMargaret Floyd
Here are the top most contaminated fruits and vegetables, according to the Environmental Working...
More Answers
Why do processed foods have less nutritional value than whole foods?
Brian TanzerBrian Tanzer
During certain types of processing many of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and cofactors ...
More Answers
What is genetically modified food?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
For years, scientists have been cross-breeding plants and animals to create the most desirable trait...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.