Hacham Yom Tov Yedid Last Chief Rabbi of Halab

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Just about every package and product
has a UPC bar code printed on it.

UPC stands for Universal Product Code. UPC bar codes were originally created to help grocery stores speed up the checkout process and keep better track of inventory, but the system quickly spread to all other retail products because it was so successful.

UPC bar codes consist of dark vertical lines (called bars) against a white background. UPC bar codes found on products in stores don’t contain the price or description of the item; instead, the bar code has a “product number” in it. When the bar code is scanned at the register by a bar code reader, the register sends the UPC number to the store’s central POS (point ofsale) computer to look up the UPC number. The POS computer is then able to associate the product with its description, brand name,
quantity-on-hand, cost, and retail price.

Prices are not included on bar codes so that stores can change prices (for example, during a sale) without having to change the bar code.


Automatic identification, or auto-ID (also commonly referred to as “automatic data capture”), is the broad term given to many technologies that are used to help machines identify objects.
The aim of most auto-ID systems is to increase efficiency, reduce data entry errors, and free up employees so they could perform more
value-added functions, such as providing customer service. Examples of auto-ID systems include bar codes and RFID technologies.