Did Ya Know?

Decoding The Numbers On Your Egg Carton

It is pretty much a given that if you were to look, almost everyone has the remnants to a carton of eggs in their refrigerator.  Eggs are basically the most popular go-to food, with most enjoying them fried, poached, and scrambled.  They are undeniably the most versatile food out there.

Whenever shopping for eggs, most are alert to not only checking the eggs in the carton for possible cracks, but they also check the best-by, use-by, and sell-by dates that are listed on the carton container.

Many shoppers do not realize that there is a more efficient route to go, in the determining of how fresh the eggs you purchase actually are.  We are going to clue you into this useful and interesting information.

When picking up your egg carton, on the side or right below that, there will be a “sell by” date stamped there, usually containing a three-digit code.  This is a serial number and is not put there arbitrarily.  It is, in fact, a Julian date and pretty much your fail-safe indication of the freshness of your eggs.

The Julian date will range in number from 001-365 and indicates the exact day that your eggs were packed into their carton.  Each of the numbers corresponds to a specific day of the year.

Image: Ship Saves

For example, 001 would indicate that the eggs were packed on January 1, and 365 would indicate the eggs contained within were packed on December 31.

Once the eggs are packed, they will keep in refrigeration for four to five weeks from the Julian date indicated.  As for the packed eggs, the United States Department of Agriculture allows their sale for up to 30 days from the packing date.

So, although you may think that the eggs you are purchasing are quite fresh, when in actuality they may very well be already a month old.  Can we say EWW?