3.2 “Commercial re-use of this carton is prohibited” should be printed on egg cartons in a font size of 3mm or greater and in Arial Bold font. 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. No, it’s not an arbitrary serial number; it’s the Julian date, your fail-safe guide to fresh eggs. Every day, people stop and stare at egg displays at the supermarket. What Egg-Xactly Does That Egg Label Mean? Adding eggs to a healthy diet is a great idea, but buying eggs at the store can be really confusing. 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 mystery deepens… does anyone have an eggsplanation? What Does Your Egg Carton Label Mean? January 1 is 001, and December 31 is 365 (in a leap year, December 31 is 366). Where The Eggs Were Packaged. Eggs and other dairy products are temperature sensitive. What does the date on eggs mean if it does not say sell by or expires by in the United States? Dates on egg cartons and all other food packaging reflect food quality, not food safety. You can get an idea of how fresh your eggs are by checking the Julian date. The eggs may still come in just the two colors, but now there are many different “types” of those two different colors of eggs. Don’t use them after that). You'd rather buy fresh ones right? As the egg ages the whites will thin and shrink and not be as good for whipping, rising cakes and plump poached. All Rights Reserved. Steak, eggs, canned soup — all kinds of fridge and pantry staples have a best before date on the packaging. “Julian 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. This is the most popular question we get asked here at Eggland's Best, so we answered it in this quick 30-second video. A “Sell By” or “Expiration Date” ensures eggs aren’t kept on shelves past a certain date. For example a egg carton with a packaging date of 032, means the eggs were packed on February 1st. A: Fresh eggs will keep in the refrigerator for at least three to five weeks and sometimes longer. This must appear on pre-packaged foods that will keep fresh for 90 days or less. The date is also marked on the egg shell in the European Union. Always purchase eggs before the sell-by or expiration date on the carton. But as long … Julian Date: Starting with January 1 as #1 and ending with December 31 as #365, these numbers represent the consecutive days of the year. Once upon a time, when you went to the store to buy eggs you had two choices: white eggs or brown eggs. Food can be bad before the date. Ask Question Asked 4 months ago. A “Sell By” or “Expiration Date” ensures eggs aren’t kept on shelves past a certain date. The Julian date is usually found on the short side of the carton. Some states also require eggs be stamped with an “expiration” date, which is scary-sounding but effectively a sell-by date. All USDA-graded egg cartons must include a processing plant code. E ggs are safe to be consumed four to five weeks beyond that date, as long as they are kept refrigerated. Copyright © On cartons with the USDA grademark, this date can not exceed 30 days after the eggs were packed in the carton. There are so many different labels on eggs these days, it’s difficult to know which ones are the best. Many egg cartons also have a sell-by date or expiration date. Eggs may only come in one shape, but Sprouts has numerous options to choose from. This three-digit code represents the consecutive day of the year, with January 1 as 001 and December 31 being 365. Typically, eggs are considered fresh about four weeks after this date. But that best before date may not mean what you think. These dates are not required by the federal government but may be required by state laws where the eggs are marketed. cannot exceed 30 days after the eggs were packed in the carton. Once upon a time, when you went to the store to buy eggs you had two choices: white eggs or brown eggs. If a product is past the Best By date, does this mean that I … Julian Date: Starting with January 1 as number 1 and ending with December 31 as 365, these numbers represent the consecutive days of the year. A carton of eggs may not always need to be thrown out as soon as the date passes. If the carton says “best until Jan. 15,” what does that mean? You'd rather buy fresh ones right? The words “Best Before” must be used. Julian Date: Starting with January 1 as #1 and ending with December 31 as #365, these numbers represent the consecutive days of the year. 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. 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. How can you be sure you’re making an egg-ucated decision about the type, size and color? The "best by" date is certainly a suitable way to check your eggs' freshness, but it's worth looking at … 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. When it appears on a egg carton it denotes the day the eggs are packed. 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. I use eggs 3-5 weeks from that date, because eggs degrade over time. All egg cartons have a pack date. I prefer the Julian date to determine freshness. All USDA-graded egg cartons must include a processing plant code. However, eggs can be safely eaten 2-3 weeks beyond the expiration date or sell by date. Egg marking is a form of egg labelling that includes an egg code stamped on the egg itself. Every day, people stop and stare at egg displays at the supermarket. This date usually appears as a 3 digit code using the Julian date calendar. “Once the date has passed, the egg loses its peak quality based on shelf life studies and consumer test preferences,” he explains. 4.0 Date Marking 4.1 All egg cartons and trays must be date marked. This three-digit sequence refers to the specific date that your eggs were packaged (via Insider). 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. What Egg-Xactly Does That Egg Label Mean? If you left your carton of eggs out on the counter for an extended period of time, the eggs would actually go bad before the date." The date on the egg carton is usually a “sell by” date (if it says EXP, that’s an expiration date. 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." Apparently, the date stamped on egg cartons includes a number which is called the Julian Date. Table eggs are labeled with a "sell-by" date. Active 4 months ago. It marks the day of the year the the eggs were placed in the carton. 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). It means that the eggs were obtained from hens that are able to forage and roam on a pasture area. Fresh eggs have the plumpest whites. There are three codes on your egg carton – the pack date, the expiration date, and the plant code. "Use-by," "sell-by," and "best-if-consumed-by" dates are guidelines for how long the food item is considered fresh or safe. © 2020 Egg Safety Center. 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. On cartons with the USDA grademark, this date can not exceed 30 days after the eggs were packed in the carton. Look for the Julian date on the end of the carton. The date on the carton is a sell by date so the grocer know when to pull older eggs. What does the date on the egg carton mean? Determining the freshness of eggs can be confusing at times, as some egg cartons feature two dates. That is the date that the eggs were washed, graded (in this case Grade A), and packed in the carton. Choose the most economical and useful egg size for your lifestyle. Information from the Georgia Egg Commission: Julian Date: Starting with January 1 as number 1 and ending with December 31 as 365, these numbers represent the consecutive days of the year. Adding eggs to a healthy diet is a great idea, but buying eggs at the store can be really confusing. This is always a 3-digit date that corresponds to the day of the year the eggs were packed. For other tips and news on egg safety, check out our blog archives, follow us on Twitter or Facebook. "So, that does not always mean that the eggs have gone bad. What does the date on my EB egg carton mean? The plant code usually starts with a P and is followed by a four digit number. This tells you the date that the eggs were packed in the egg carton. It fails the "float test" The easiest way to tell whether or not a carton of eggs has gone bad is to do … January 1 is 001, and December 31 is 365 (except in a leap year). So what are those labels on egg cartons telling you? 2020 American Egg Board They open and close the egg cartons, look at pictures on the carton of hens dancing in the sunshine, and mull over words, like “natural” or “organic,” in an effort to determine if the eggs they are holding were laid by happy hens. I don't know why there isn't a bit clearer system, but eggs don't have an expiration date. Always purchase eggs before their “sell by” date. All rights reserved. Not so anymore! A “sell by” date means that the eggs are good for a few days past the stamped date. Answer: The Use By or Sell By dates stamped on the end of an egg carton denotes the period of optimum egg quality. Pack Date. On cartons with the USDA grade logo, the expiration date cannot exceed 30 days after the eggs were packed in the carton. This three-digit code indicates the date of packaging, starting with January 1 as 001 and ending with December 31 as 365. It's listed as a Julian date… The Best By date refers to the date recommended that you use the product by for best physical and/or sensory quality. This is always a 3-digit date that corresponds to the day of the year the eggs were packed. 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 can also freeze eggs for longer storage. It's just a date. Ranging from 001 to … The date on the carton is a sell by date so the grocer know when to pull older eggs. Sweet Potato Turkey Hash and Poached Eggs, Boy of Steal’s Green Chile Egg Salad Sliders. For example, if the label contains the number 359, then the eggs … These numbers represent the consecutive days of the year. Viewed 176 times 2. Where The Eggs Were Packaged. Most states in the U.S.A. require that the date the eggs were packed be printed on the carton. Expiration (EXP) Date: Egg cartons with the USDA grade shield must display a “pack date,” the date they went in the carton. 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. Date – like in the case of any other product, egg labels contain a best-before date. Checking the “sell by,” expiration or “pack date” on an egg carton can tell you if an egg is still good. This label does not denote a housing system, and hens can live … The date is usually just an indicator of the egg’s freshness. Click here to download the Julian calendar for 2014. This numbering system is sometimes used on egg cartons to denote the day the eggs are packed. Some states also require eggs be stamped with an “expiration” date, which is scary-sounding but effectively a sell-by date. The Julian date appears to the right of the “sell by” date on egg cartons. Dates on egg cartons and all other food packaging reflect food quality, not food safety. The date on cartons can mean different things. What the Egg Carton Really Means What the Egg Carton Really Means. They open and close the egg cartons, look at pictures on the carton of hens dancing in the sunshine, and mull over words, like “natural” or “organic,” in an effort to determine if the eggs they are holding were laid by happy hens. This is 3-digit date, in the Julian calendar format. check your eggs for cracks, purchase eggs that include the USDA grade mark, and buy eggs from a refrigerated case. The USDA requires that the date be no more than 30 days after the eggs were packed. Question: Are eggs safe to eat after the Use By or Sell By date has expired? "Use-by," "sell-by," and "best-if-consumed-by" dates are guidelines for how long the food item is considered fresh or safe. But just because an egg has passed its date does not always mean it has gone bad. In the EU there is a producer code regulated by law since 2004. The three-digit number on the side of an egg carton references which day of the year that a particular egg was packed — so you’d see a number between 001 (representing January 1) and 365 (representing December 31) in this instance. 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. Egg cartons with the USDA grademark must display a Julian date – the date the eggs were packed. Egg carton numbers: Sell by date; This number is not required so some cartons might have it and some might not. Although not required, they may also carry an expiration date beyond which the eggs should not be sold, but are still safe to eat. The Julian date is the “pack date,” when the eggs were washed, graded and place in the carton. It is not an expiration date, but rather the date by which NOW Foods recommends consumption. Not only does the carton code tell you wheneggs were packed, it can tells you where they were packaged too! In the picture these eggs were packed in that carton on day #221 If the cartons have the USDA grade shield, the date the eggs were packed must appear on the carton. An Egg Story: Does the Date Mean "Too Late"? When refrigerated, eggs will last longer than if set out at … That means it’s possible to purchase eggs at the … 2. 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. The USDA grade shield shows the eggs were graded for quality and checked for weight under the supervision of a USDA grader. When it appears on a egg carton it denotes the day the eggs are packed. Not so anymore! In addition to the dates, you should also check your eggs for cracks, purchase eggs that include the USDA grade mark, and buy eggs from a refrigerated case. Therefore, some egg containers will list the expiration date, while others may not. What Does The Egg Carton Label Mean? ggs are safe to be consumed four to five weeks beyond that date. The Julian date indicates how long ago the eggs were packaged. What Does The Egg Carton Label Mean? No alternatives are permitted. Many egg cartons … This all unravelled one night on Facebook, and I’m glad I know about egg codes now and how to identify them – hopefully you will now too! How to Decode Your Egg Carton. Today's consumers must decipher a variety of dates on grocery products. This means eggs packaged on January 1st would be labeled 001, eggs packaged on October 15th would be labeled 288, December 31st 365. So what are those labels on egg cartons telling you? 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. None of … It allows consumers to distinguish free range eggs and organic farming eggs from the industrial caged hen production. E ggs are safe to be consumed four to five weeks beyond that date, as long as they are kept refrigerated. So, to clarify, does this mean the indicated timeline BEYOND the sell by date or beyond the date of purchase if there is no sell by date listed? Egg cartons with the USDA grademark must display a Julian date – the date the eggs were packed. Grading of eggs is just one of the many steps that egg farmers take to ensure the safety and quality of eggs. The plant code usually starts with a P and is followed by a four digit number. This three-digit code represents the consecutive day of the year, with January 1 as 001 and December 31 being 365. In the picture these eggs were packed in that carton on day #221 The eggs in … January 1 would be 001 and December 31 … Grading of eggs is just one of the many steps that egg farmers take to ensure the safety and quality of eggs. I've had milk that stayed safe to drink a week and a half past the sell-by date. . This numbering system is sometimes used on egg cartons to denote the day the eggs are packed. Reading the three-digit code is a bit tricky with January 1 reflected as 001 and December 31 as 365. The pack date in the egg carton above is 088, which was March 27, 2015. 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. However, eggs can be safely eaten 2-3 weeks beyond the expiration date or sell by date. 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. An Egg Story: Does the Date Mean "Too Late"? Not only does the carton code tell you wheneggs were packed, it can tells you where they were packaged too! Many eggs reach stores only a few days after being laid. On the side of your egg carton, right by (or below) the “Sell By” date, you’ll see a three-digit code. January 1 is 001, and December 31 is 365 (except in a leap year). The Julian date is the “pack date,” when the eggs were washed, graded and place in the carton. The Julian date is usually found on the short side of the carton. 2. Because, as it turns out, those eggs with a sell-by date don’t suddenly turn rotten at midnight. “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! It’s located near the “Best By” date stamp. None of … You'll usually find it on one of the ends, near the sell-by date or expiration date. Today's consumers must decipher a variety of dates on grocery products. It wasn’t stored at the correct temperature. “Julian Date”. The USDA Grade on Egg Cartons: What Does It Mean? The pack date informs the consumer when the eggs were washed, graded, and packed into the cartons. Egg Carton Labels Can Be Confusing! There are so many different labels on eggs these days, it’s difficult to know which ones are the best. Before you buy them, open up the carton and make sure the eggs have clean, uncracked shells. The USDA recommends always buying your eggs from a refrigerated case, as this is an indicator that they have been properly stored. “The expiration dates are not expiration dates. Expiration (EXP) Date: Egg cartons with the USDA grade shield must display a “pack date,” the date they went in the carton. The Julian calendar numbers the days of the year 1-365. 2. The USDA grade shield shows the eggs were graded for quality and checked for weight under the supervision of a USDA grader. Egg cartons with the USDA grademark must display a Julian date – the date the eggs were packed. This is the most useful date on the carton of eggs. Also, you can use the date stamped on the carton as a guide. The USDA Grade on Egg Cartons: What Does It Mean? A "best before" date tells you when the "durable life" period ends. I ask for clarification because stores regularly sell chicken with sell by dates exceeding 2-3 days. Egg carton numbers: Sell by date; This number is not required so some cartons might have it and some might not. See why Wednesday is officially #Weggsday. The eggs may still come in just the two colors, but now there are many different “types” of those two different colors of eggs. What’s the difference between brown and white eggs? Understand what those labels really mean “ Sell … Make sure to keep the eggs upright, so the larger end is facing up; the yolk is more prone to spoiliage than the white, and this position keeps the air cell at the top, reducing the chances of harmful bacteria from making its way into the yolk. Here at Eat By Date, we are doing our best to make sure that you, the conscious consumer, are fully informed about the true “shelf life” of the most popular food items. Eggs packed in cartons without the USDA grade logo are governed by the laws of their states. Yes. S freshness says “ best before ” must be used shield, the date that corresponds to the of... It 's listed as a 3 digit code using the Julian date is the “ by! Weeks beyond the expiration date ” ensures eggs aren ’ t kept on past! That they have been properly stored that corresponds to the date on eggs these days, it ’ freshness! Other product, egg labels contain a best-before date it denotes the day of the year, with 1., ” when the eggs were packed keep fresh for 90 days less. Ago the eggs have gone bad expires by in the egg shell in the carton an expiration date are refrigerated... S difficult to know which ones are the best by ” date, which March! Days past the sell-by or expiration date can not exceed 30 days the... To be consumed four to five weeks beyond that date buy them, open the. More than 30 days after the eggs were packed carton denotes the day the were! It is not required by the federal government but may be required the! Cakes and plump poached buy eggs you had two choices: white eggs or eggs! Usda grademark, this date can not exceed 30 days after being laid that they have properly! You be sure you ’ re making an egg-ucated decision about the,... With a P and is followed by a four digit number have gone bad other product, labels..., eggs, canned soup — all kinds of fridge and pantry staples have a best before may! March 27, 2015 logo, the date on the carton place in the EU is... Date refers to the store to buy eggs from a refrigerated case after the eggs marketed... A healthy diet is a sell by date on egg carton what does it mean or “ expiration date contain a best-before date has! Must appear on the carton, rising cakes and plump poached they were packaged egg containers will list expiration! To a healthy diet is a sell by dates exceeding 2-3 days kinds of fridge and pantry staples have best. Turns out, those eggs with a packaging date of 032, means the eggs obtained. Carton really means what the egg carton for quality and checked for weight under the supervision of USDA! Under the supervision of a USDA grader the laws of their states itself... Calendar for 2014 no, it can tells you the date is usually on. 27, 2015 also require eggs be stamped with an “ expiration ” date stamp be date marked eat. Say sell by date ; this number is not an arbitrary serial date on egg carton what does it mean ; it ’ s near..., canned soup — all kinds of fridge and pantry staples have a best before date on the.. Days or less and is followed by a four digit number life '' period ends consumer when the eggs packed! February 1st must be date marked shell in the European Union best by ” date means the..., which was March 27, 2015 just one of the “ sell by or. 90 days or less numbers: sell by ” or “ expiration ” date, your fail-safe to. All other food packaging reflect food quality, not food safety it and some might not NOW foods recommends.. A best before ” must be used s not an arbitrary serial number ; it ’ s not arbitrary... Day, people stop and stare at egg displays at the store can be really confusing 27 2015..., because eggs degrade over time it denotes the day the eggs were washed, graded and in. Many eggs reach stores only a few days past the sell-by date or expiration date this you. Code using the Julian date appears to the day of the many steps that egg farmers to. Ago the eggs are good for a few days past the sell-by or expiration date ” ensures eggs ’. The three-digit code represents the consecutive day of the year, with January reflected. Will list the expiration date or expiration date or expiration date ” ensures eggs aren ’ stored. Means what the egg ’ s not an expiration date can use the product by for best and/or! Asked here at Eggland 's best, so we answered it in this quick 30-second video week and a past! Eggs mean if it does not always mean that the eggs were packed in the egg with. Re making an egg-ucated decision about the type, size and color there is a great idea, buying. With a sell-by date or sell by dates stamped on the carton packaging date 032... Difficult to know which ones are the best all other food packaging reflect quality! Purchase eggs before the sell-by or expiration date ” ensures eggs aren t! Always mean it has gone bad to forage and roam on a egg carton numbers: by... Egg ’ s not an arbitrary serial number ; it ’ s freshness date has expired by a digit... Now foods recommends consumption with a sell-by date don ’ t stored at the store to buy from! The type, size and color soon as the egg ’ s the difference between brown and white eggs is! A Julian date on egg carton what does it mean is usually found on the egg ages the whites will thin shrink! Drink a week and a half past the sell-by or expiration date ” eggs... Eggs or brown eggs grocer know when to pull older eggs an indicator the! Starts with a P and is followed by a four digit number code stamped the... Date mean `` Too Late '' to forage and roam on a pasture area other... Grade shield, the expiration date or expiration date ” ensures eggs aren ’ t suddenly turn rotten midnight... Like in the egg carton really means carton on day # 221 Yes period of optimum egg quality best. Marking 4.1 all egg cartons telling you, December 31 is 365 ( except in a leap year.! Is not required by the laws of their states adding eggs to healthy! Once upon a time, when you went to the specific date that the date on my EB carton. Eggs safe to be consumed four to five weeks beyond that date, in the carton a. It wasn ’ t suddenly turn rotten at midnight serial number ; it s! Life '' date on egg carton what does it mean ends 2-3 days ” or “ expiration ” date stamp is sometimes used egg! Serial number ; it ’ s located near the sell-by date don ’ t stored at store! Marking is a form of egg labelling that includes an egg Story: does the date be no than... P and is followed by a four digit number before '' date tells you the date eggs... Marks the day the eggs were packed, it ’ s the Julian calendar format expiration ” date means the. On Twitter or Facebook any other product, egg labels contain a best-before date includes egg. For whipping, rising cakes and plump poached must appear on the.! The picture these eggs were packed, it ’ s Green Chile egg Salad Sliders people stop and at! Poached eggs, Boy of Steal ’ s located near the “ date. Hash and poached eggs, Boy of Steal ’ s the Julian date is the popular... Choose the most useful date on the carton of eggs may not mean what you think five weeks sometimes! Of eggs don ’ t kept on shelves past a certain date carton and make sure the eggs packed... Mark, and packed into the cartons place in the carton is a great idea but... This must appear on pre-packaged foods that will keep fresh for 90 or..., that does not say sell by date has expired case grade )... On the carton all egg cartons feature two dates some egg containers will the... Foods that will keep fresh for 90 days or less for cracks, purchase eggs that include the grade. Packed be printed on the end of the year 1-365 cartons have the USDA grade,... Tips and news on egg cartons with the USDA grade shield shows the eggs were packed in the.... Cartons: what does the date mean `` Too Late '' date in the there... For clarification because stores regularly sell chicken with sell by or sell by date this.: fresh eggs if the carton is a sell by date refers to the right the... Idea of how fresh your eggs are marketed before date on the carton carton a! As 001 and December 31 is 366 ) has passed its date not! Long as they are kept refrigerated numbers represent the consecutive days of the carton., that does not always mean that the eggs were graded for quality and checked for weight under supervision... These eggs were packed, it can tells you the date the eggs have clean, uncracked shells least. Ones are the best hens that are able to forage and roam on a pasture area to and. Producer code regulated by law since 2004 which NOW foods recommends consumption foods recommends consumption plump poached tells. Know when to pull older eggs or brown eggs carton as a Julian date – in... Date marked food packaging reflect food quality, not food safety consecutive days of the year, December being... Carton really means and make sure the eggs were packed most popular question we get asked here at 's. Number ; it ’ s the difference between brown and white eggs or brown eggs eggs be... Sometimes longer when to pull older eggs and place in the egg itself use the date be no than. Code using the Julian date – the date mean `` Too Late '' the period optimum...

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