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What is the meaning of the codes on the eggs?

 Eggs have a wide range of uses not only in Turkish society but all over the world and are one of the most important foods that should be consumed fresh. Egg packs should indicate the recommended date for fresh consumption. It is sometimes thought that the codes on eggs are related to the expiration date. We can say this information is incorrect. Therefore, the answer to the question of what the codes on eggs mean is that these codes are related to production information.

 Firstly, the codes on the eggs are not only used in our country. There is a universal use of these numbers and letters. These can be described in detail from left to right or right to left. It must be stated that all eggs sold in our country are produced domestically. Except for the use of imported eggs, the two-character TR letters appearing to the right of the first digit on the egg represent the code of our country. Many egg companies add this code on the eggs they produce. Because the use of imported eggs is quite low. While it is not preferred for wholesale and retail sales, imported eggs can be used for industrial purposes. These eggs are also marked with the two-character code of the country where they are produced.

Codes Related to Production Type

 The single digit numbers on the left of the TR expression on the egg are in the range of 0-3. These codes represent the production method of the egg. There are different codes used for organic eggs, for free-range eggs and for eggs produced from farmed hens.

Eggs Produced with Code 0

 Many egg companies sell eggs under the title of organic or free-range hens. Yet, those who know the answer to the question of what the codes on the eggs mean can easily recognize this. The suitability of eggs, in which the production method is specified with codes, is inspected by the state. For this reason, even if they are sold as organic eggs, the organic code cannot be added to the codes on them. 

With the code 0 (zero), it can be easily understood that the eggs produced are completely organic. Natural eggs obtained as a result of natural feeding of natural hens are referred to with this code. Due to the slow processing of natural methods and the low number of eggs obtained, it can be said that it is also the most expensive egg.

Eggs Produced with Code 1

It can be defined as second quality eggs in the production method. Free-range hens eggs, which are commonly heard in advertisements, are included in this scope. Unlike code 0, which refers to organic eggs, eggs produced with code 1 are from farmed chickens, not free-range chickens.

The hens from which the eggs produced with this code are produced are called farm hens. Again, as a result of natural feeding of hens, production is expected without feeding.

Eggs Produced with Code 2

It is also used to express the eggs produced using farm hens. But unlike other farm hens, these eggs are raised in a coop. Therefore, hens, which have a limited free-range area, can partially consume natural food without feed. Most of them lay eggs quickly and in large numbers as a result of the feeds provided by the producer.

Eggs Produced with Code 3

These are the cheapest type of eggs. They are obtained from hens called coop hens. The farm hens here are not allowed to go outside and are completely fed with the feed given by the producer. For this reason, it is possible to say that their egg quality is poor. Since a large number of eggs are obtained in a short time, their prices are cheaper than other categories.

Codes Related to Production Location

The codes stamped on the egg are almost the same on a parcel, a package or even on all eggs produced by a company. The codes on the egg are a number between 0-3 followed by a two-character capital letter. It was mentioned that the number at the beginning is the production method. The two-character capital letters represent the country where the egg was produced. For this reason, all eggs, except imported eggs, are marked with the TR expression after the 0-3 code.

Egg production in Turkey can be enough within itself. Therefore, eggs are not imported for wholesale or retail sale. Imported eggs may be used only in some industrial sectors where very large purchases are made and where the release is important. Therefore, it is not a common occurrence to see a code other than TR on any eggs sold in the markets.

Codes Indicating Production Location

The codes on the top of the egg are followed by the type of production – country of production, and the next two-character code refers to the province where the egg was produced. In this area where provincial license plate codes are used in our country, the province where the farms where the eggs are produced must be indicated. It is also worth noting that this mechanism is also controlled by the state.

The two-digit numbers after TR expression, represent the license plate code of the province where the production farm is located. Although the supplier company and the production facility are usually the same, this is not a requirement. Therefore, it is possible for the producer company and the supplier to be in different provinces.

Business Registration Numbers

 In the order of the numbers on the egg, the business registration number comes after the production province. This expression can be from 3 digits to 10 digits. It expresses the registration number where the business is registered and registered with the Ministry of Food. This information is of no use to the consumer except for complaints. However, in the case of a complaint about eggs or packs, the business code becomes important. If the egg is broken, it can also be noted that the same code is also written on the packaging in which the egg is sold.

Coop-Cage Number

 After the 3 or 10 digit business code, there is a 1 or 2 digit number in the last row after being separated by a letter K or – (dash). In the last row of numbers on the egg, there are numbers called coop or cage numbers. It is specified in which numbered coop the hen that produced that egg is located. Again, while this information is not directly useful for the consumer, it is important in terms of control mechanisms.

 As it can be understood from this point, by reading the numbers on an egg, all information can be accessed, including the methods, in which province, by which business and in which coop it was produced. Now, in order to give this information in a more collective and easy-to-understand way, it is necessary to go through a sample egg code.


3: The number 3 in purple color represents that the egg was produced from cage hens.

TR: Represents that the eggs are produced in Turkey.

XX: Represents that the eggs were produced in our province with the license plate code XX.

AAA: The AAA number, which can be between 3 and 10 digits, is the registration number of the business producing the egg.

K: Represents a coop or cage. Sometimes – (hyphen) is used instead.

4: Represents that the egg was produced in cage number 4 of the business with the specified registration number.

Egg Production Date

Although it is not required, some businesses may also include the production date on the stamps on the eggs. The production date indicated in the form of Day/Month/Year is located just below the codes section on the egg. Again, the date of production can also be included next to other information by some businesses. The production date can be written in the form of DD/MM/YYYYY right after the order of production type-production country-production province-production province-businesses registration number-hen number.

The processing of the information on the egg was made a necessity in 2017. This application, which aims to provide faster and safer inspection mechanisms, also simplifies the examinations and inspections to be carried out in case of complaints. With the application implemented by the Ministry of Food, the inspection of egg production facilities has become much easier and more reliable.

As it can be understood from the codes above, thanks to the numbers on the eggs, it is possible to pinpoint where a parcel or a single egg is produced. This application also prevents the complete closure of the facility in case of a complaint, allowing only the inspection of the coop where the problem is detected. The current inspections of this application, which protects both the consumer and the producer, are provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

What Do the Codes on Eggs Mean?

The coding system introduced for all egg producers has been an obligation since 2017. The stamping system, which is obligatory for village eggs, is not very applicable in villages. Still, it is possible to access organic hen eggs from villages with codes starting with 0 (zero).

It is very easy to understand the quality of an egg thanks to the numbers on the egg. For this reason, the answer to the question of what the codes on the egg mean is important for both the producer and the consumer.

The importance for the producer is first of all this is a legal obligation. Serious sanctions are applied to the sale of eggs that do not contain information about the egg. In case of repetition, it may lead to closure of the business. For this reason, all local and national egg producers actively use this coding system. However, if a problem is detected, even unconsciously, it allows an investigation to be carried out without the need to stop the activities of the entire facility. Since the province where the egg is produced, the business and even the coop number are known, only that coop is examined. In this way, the damage of the businesses is prevented to some extent.

 For consumers, the codes on the egg are very important in terms of quality determination. It is generally possible to find eggs with numbers 2 and 3 in the market. Eggs numbered 0 and 1 have a high quality level and their prices are a little more expensive. On the other hand, since the hens producing eggs numbered 2 and 3 produce a large number of eggs in a short time, their prices can be qualified as cheaper.

The code 0 (zero), which stands for organic eggs, is the most difficult type of egg to find on the market. It is added to a small amount of eggs produced with the natural diet of completely natural village hens. The prices are higher due to the long laying period and low number of eggs. Similarly, it is known that eggs starting with code number 1 (one) are free-range chicken eggs. Hens here are farm hens, and use of GMOs is legal. However, the eggs of these chickens, whose diet is natural, are often preferred.

On the other hand, hens producing eggs with codes 2 (two) and 3 (three) are not allowed to roam and are fed only with laying feed. Since the use of GMOs in feed is also not forbidden, a large amount of eggs can be obtained in a short time. This has a direct impact on egg prices.

Now that it is known what the codes on the eggs mean, these can be taken into attention when choosing eggs. In addition, it should also be stated that the information on business registration and coop number can be used in complaint mechanisms. When there is a complaint about a parcel or a unit of eggs of any supplier company, this information can be given to the Ministry of Agriculture and the necessary supervision can be provided immediately.

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