French eggs are stamped with information for the consumer about who the producer is, when the egg was laid and how the hens live.
On the bottom line of the stamped code, the first figure is a number. It tells you if the egg is organic (0), free range (1), barn (2) or battery (3). Organic means that the hens have access to the open air, are fed 'organic' (ie certified pesticide free) feed and are limited to 6 birds per square metre in the sheds. Free range means the hens are allowed outdoors, but their feed is not 'organic' and they are a maximum of 9 birds per square metre in the sheds. Barn eggs come from hens which are not allowed outside, but otherwise the same rules as the free range. Battery hens (80% of the flock in France) live all their lives in cages, with 16 hours a day of artificial light, and packed in at 16 birds per square metre.
The next two characters tell you which country the egg was produced. FR means France. The next three letters are a code for a specific producer, followed by their département number (in this case, 02, which means Aisne).
The line above says 'PR', for date de péremption (expiry date beyond which it must be removed from sale), which is 28 days after laying, and shows day and month.
Sometimes there is a third line, which shows the date of laying. This is only necessary if the eggs are being sold as extra-frais (extra fresh), which are eggs less than 9 days old.
Gluten Free Bread: Laurence of Boulangerie Les Pains de Laurence, rue de la croix, Preuilly, is now doing a gluten free (Fr. sans gluten) loaf, with 50% buckwheat (Fr. sarrasin).