What The Twist Tie Colors On Bread Really Mean

Making homemade bread became a popular hobby for many people over the last year — so much so that it caused a shortage of flour and yeast. However, if you now find yourself lacking the time to bake up a few loaves for your morning toast, or are simply over the fad, there's an aisle full of it at your local grocery store, or even your closest Dollar Tree, to choose from. The shelves are piled high with several varieties of bread from white to whole wheat, rye to pumpernickel, and even gluten-free, most of which are sealed tight for freshness in plastic bags.

While it may be the logo on the outside of the plastic sacks that ultimately influence which loaf goes into your cart, there's something else you might want to pay attention to when making your choice: the twist tie or plastic tab closing it up. More specifically, take note of what color it is, as Tasting Table reports that the hues are far from random, and can potentially be the difference between piling deli meat in between fresh bread or dry, stale slices that can make your lunchtime experience less than ideal.

Use the color system to get the freshest loaf of bread

Prepare for your mind to be blown, as Tasting Table says the different twist tie or tab colors around your loaf of bread actually represent the specific day of the week it was baked on, with the most common code in grocery stores using blue for Monday, green for Tuesday, red for Thursday, white for Friday, and yellow for Saturday. Therefore, if you're heading to the store for bread on a Friday, you want to look for the loaf sealed with a red twist tie to ensure that you're getting the freshest loaf from your favorite brand. And no, we didn't forget about Wednesday and Sunday — as noted by Southern Living, most stores don't get deliveries on these days, so they are omitted from the color-coding system.

The system was ultimately put in place to help grocery store employees determine when a loaf of bread is too stale to remain on the shelf (via Tasting Table). Wide Open Eats notes that stores typically only keep two colors stocked at once (or three if there was a day without a bread delivery), though the trick can still come in handy for shoppers as well — the colors even go in alphabetical order to make the system easier to remember. Of course, Tasting Table reminds us that not all bread companies follow this specific system, so it's always good to double-check the expiration date on the bag to make sure you've got the best loaf available.