January 1 is 001, and December 31 is 365 (except in a leap year). The cost aside, because there is a fair cost difference per egg depending on the size of the carton you buy, let’s just talk about the freshness and safety aspect. What does the date on my EB egg carton mean? When it appears on a egg carton it denotes the day the eggs are packed. The date on the carton is a sell by date so the grocer know when to pull older eggs. On the side of your egg carton, right by (or below) the “Sell By” date, you’ll see a three-digit code. Some states also require eggs be stamped with an “expiration” date, which is scary-sounding but effectively a sell-by date. Although not required, they may also carry an expiration date beyond which the eggs should not be sold, but are still safe to eat. You'd rather buy fresh ones right? This is the most popular question we get asked here at Eggland's Best, so we answered it in this quick 30-second video. It's listed as a Julian date… Julian Date: Starting with January 1 as #1 and ending with December 31 as #365, these numbers represent the consecutive days of the year. Expiration (EXP) Date: Egg cartons with the USDA grade shield must display a “pack date,” the date they went in the carton. Some states also require eggs be stamped with an “expiration” date, which is scary-sounding but effectively a sell-by date. Although not required, they may also carry an expiration date beyond which the eggs should not be sold, but are still safe to eat. How to Decode Your Egg Carton. What Does The Egg Carton Label Mean? Adding eggs to a healthy diet is a great idea, but buying eggs at the store can be really confusing. A “Sell By” or “Expiration Date” ensures eggs aren’t kept on shelves past a certain date. All rights reserved. The FDA gives farmers 30 days to place an egg in a carton and then another 30 days to sell that egg after it’s been placed in a carton. These numbers represent the consecutive days of the year. An Egg Story: Does the Date Mean "Too Late"? Ask Question Asked 4 months ago. Julian Date: Starting with January 1 as #1 and ending with December 31 as #365, these numbers represent the consecutive days of the year. January 1 would be 001 and December 31 … The eggs in … In the EU there is a producer code regulated by law since 2004. The date is also marked on the egg shell in the European Union. The plant code usually starts with a P and is followed by a four digit number. The pack date in the egg carton above is 088, which was March 27, 2015. When picking out eggs at the supermarket, most of us check the "best by" date, but it turns out those other numbers listed on the carton may be the real key to avoiding some very bad eggs. For example, if the label contains the number 359, then the eggs … Egg Carton Labels Can Be Confusing! Expiration (EXP) Date: Egg cartons with the USDA grade shield must display a “pack date,” the date they went in the carton. This label does not denote a housing system, and hens can live … However, eggs can be safely eaten 2-3 weeks beyond the expiration date or sell by date. This means eggs packaged on January 1st would be labeled 001, eggs packaged on October 15th would be labeled 288, December 31st 365. 2. There are three codes on your egg carton – the pack date, the expiration date, and the plant code. Any eggs with the USDA shield are required to have a “pack date.” That is the date that the eggs were washed, graded (in this case Grade A), and packed in the carton. There are so many different labels on eggs these days, it’s difficult to know which ones are the best. A “Sell By” or “Expiration Date” ensures eggs aren’t kept on shelves past a certain date. The numbers should be somewhere between 001 to 365, and refer to the specific day in the 365 calendar year that your eggs were harvested. The date is usually just an indicator of the egg’s freshness. This three-digit sequence refers to the specific date that your eggs were packaged (via Insider). This is always a 3-digit date that corresponds to the day of the year the eggs were packed. All Rights Reserved. The Department of Agriculture requires all graded eggs to have their pack date — the day that the eggs were washed, graded and placed in the egg container — stamped on the carton. Eggs and other dairy products are temperature sensitive. No, it’s not an arbitrary serial number; it’s the Julian date, your fail-safe guide to fresh eggs. Best before date - The "best before" date does not guarantee product safety, but it does give you information about the freshness and potential shelf-life of the unopened food you are buying. The USDA grade shield shows the eggs were graded for quality and checked for weight under the supervision of a USDA grader. Checking the “sell by,” expiration or “pack date” on an egg carton can tell you if an egg is still good. Dates on egg cartons and all other food packaging reflect food quality, not food safety. I don't know why there isn't a bit clearer system, but eggs don't have an expiration date. See why Wednesday is officially #Weggsday. It fails the "float test" The easiest way to tell whether or not a carton of eggs has gone bad is to do … The USDA Grade on Egg Cartons: What Does It Mean? Eggs packed in cartons without the USDA grade logo are governed by the laws of their states. The USDA recommends always buying your eggs from a refrigerated case, as this is an indicator that they have been properly stored. The "best by" date is certainly a suitable way to check your eggs' freshness, but it's worth looking at … Grading of eggs is just one of the many steps that egg farmers take to ensure the safety and quality of eggs. "Use-by," "sell-by," and "best-if-consumed-by" dates are guidelines for how long the food item is considered fresh or safe. Answer: The Use By or Sell By dates stamped on the end of an egg carton denotes the period of optimum egg quality. Question: Are eggs safe to eat after the Use By or Sell By date has expired? A “sell by” date means that the eggs are good for a few days past the stamped date. No alternatives are permitted. Therefore, some egg containers will list the expiration date, while others may not. What’s the difference between brown and white eggs? I ask for clarification because stores regularly sell chicken with sell by dates exceeding 2-3 days. After further reading, caged hens are no longer allowed in this country, but that doesn’t explain why these eggs are graded as a 3. But just because an egg has passed its date does not always mean it has gone bad. ggs are safe to be consumed four to five weeks beyond that date. The Julian date is usually found on the short side of the carton. "Use-by," "sell-by," and "best-if-consumed-by" dates are guidelines for how long the food item is considered fresh or safe. Today's consumers must decipher a variety of dates on grocery products. It marks the day of the year the the eggs were placed in the carton. However, eggs can be safely eaten 2-3 weeks beyond the expiration date or sell by date. It is not an expiration date, but rather the date by which NOW Foods recommends consumption. 2020 American Egg Board I prefer the Julian date to determine freshness. Many egg cartons also have a sell-by date or expiration date. I have several cartons of eggs that have a date stamp but the date stamp does not say, sell by, expires by or best by. The USDA Grade on Egg Cartons: What Does It Mean? It allows consumers to distinguish free range eggs and organic farming eggs from the industrial caged hen production. The Best By date refers to the date recommended that you use the product by for best physical and/or sensory quality. Table eggs are labeled with a "sell-by" date. This is always a 3-digit date that corresponds to the day of the year the eggs were packed. What the Egg Carton Really Means What the Egg Carton Really Means. The words “Best Before” must be used. The egg begins to lose moisture, and if you bought a carton of eggs on December 1 that has the packaging date of 306, well, your yolks might not taste so "eggcellent." Ranging from 001 to … In the picture these eggs were packed in that carton on day #221 This is the most useful date on the carton of eggs. Regular eggs contain about 30 mgs of Omega-3 per egg, but Omega-3-enhanced eggs contain 100 mg to more than 600 mg per egg because the hens are fed a special diet of canola, linseed and flax seed. Many egg cartons … Don’t use them after that). Understand what those labels really mean “ Sell … This date usually appears as a 3 digit code using the Julian date calendar. Food can be bad before the date. Pack Date. The Julian date is usually found on the short side of the carton. For other tips and news on egg safety, check out our blog archives, follow us on Twitter or Facebook. What Egg-Xactly Does That Egg Label Mean? But as long … If a product is past the Best By date, does this mean that I … What does the date on the egg carton mean? I personally prefer cartons with this date because in my area foods often sit on grocery shelves for awhile or they aren’t properly rotated so they could be much older than what I want to serve my family. When you purchase food items at your local grocery store, you may notice a printed sell by date, use by date or best before date on the packaging or item itself and wonder just what that date really means. Animal welfare is of the utmost importance to Sprouts, and we hold both our suppliers and ourselves to high standards in regard to supply chain transparency. The date doesn't mean you should throw away the milk the day after the sell-by date, it just means the store can no longer sell it at full retail ( and in some places, they can't sell it at all). The USDA requires that the date be no more than 30 days after the eggs were packed. As the egg ages the whites will thin and shrink and not be as good for whipping, rising cakes and plump poached. 2. E ggs are safe to be consumed four to five weeks beyond that date, as long as they are kept refrigerated. “Once the date has passed, the egg loses its peak quality based on shelf life studies and consumer test preferences,” he explains. Egg Carton Labels Can Be Confusing! “The expiration dates are not expiration dates. Look for the Julian date on the end of the carton. I use eggs 3-5 weeks from that date, because eggs degrade over time. The date on cartons can mean different things. If the cartons have the USDA grade shield, the date the eggs were packed must appear on the carton. Where The Eggs Were Packaged. None of … What does the date on eggs mean if it does not say sell by or expires by in the United States? You'd rather buy fresh ones right? On cartons with the USDA grade logo, the expiration date cannot exceed 30 days after the eggs were packed in the carton. © 2020 Egg Safety Center. In the picture these eggs were packed in that carton on day #221 The date on the egg carton is usually a “sell by” date (if it says EXP, that’s an expiration date. Viewed 176 times 2. All USDA-graded egg cartons must include a processing plant code. 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