Here’s what those numbers on your egg carton really mean

Some egg cartons have sell-by dates on them, while others have expiration dates. So, how do you know when to toss your eggs? Read on to find out how to determine if your eggs are still edible. One way to determine a reasonable use-by date is to count four to five weeks out from the date that the eggs were cleaned and packaged. You’ll usually find it on one of the ends, near the sell-by date or expiration date. To complicate matters, the pack date may be tacked onto the beginning or end of the plant number.

What Does the Code on My Egg Carton Mean?

Foreign Editions Coming Soon. Cracking The Egg Carton Code: Date Codes Explained These dates are not required by the federal government date may be required by state laws where the eggs are marketed. Carton purchase eggs egg the sell-by or explained date on the carton. On cartons with the USDA grade logo, the expiration date cannot exceed 30 days after the eggs were packed in the carton.

Eggs packed in cartons date your USDA grade logo are governed your the laws of their states. 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.

Expiration dates can be no more than 30 days from the day the eggs were packed into the carton. Another type of code dating used indicates the.

Egg cartons have an alphabet soup of letters and numbers on them. They do mean something, and they can help you choose fresher eggs. There are three codes on your egg carton — the pack date, the expiration date, and the plant code. All egg cartons have a pack date. This is 3-digit date, in the Julian calendar format. January 1 is , and December 31 is in a leap year, December 31 is This tells you the date that the eggs were packed in the egg carton.

The pack date in the egg carton above is , which was March 27, You can safely store eggs in your refrigerator and use them for up to weeks past the pack date. On this egg carton, the pack date is , or December 2. The sell by date is December An expiration or sell by date tells the grocery store when to pull the eggs from the shelf. This date must be 30 days or less from the pack date.

Sonoma Dish: Decoding egg cartons and the expiration dates that matter

However, if the eggs have been purchased before the expiration date and are stored properly, they may be safely used for three weeks from the date of purchase. Any egg that looks unusual or has an off-odor should not be used. This determination is up to each individual consumer.

Each carton of USDA graded eggs must show the date of packaging, the processing plant number and may include an expiration date.

And the numbers printed on the carton seem to require a Cold War code-breaker. Eggs coming from plants producing U. Department of Agriculture USDA -graded eggs must display the date they were packed, a three digit code called the Julian date. The Julian date indicates how long ago the eggs were packaged. Reading the three-digit code is a bit tricky with January 1 reflected as and December 31 as This is the most useful date on the carton of eggs.

The guidelines for dates on a carton of eggs vary from state to state. And some states have no guidelines at all.

What Happens If You Eat Expired Eggs?

Is there a way to tell from the egg carton how old the eggs are? Are there some guidelines for how long eggs are safe to eat? According to the U. Each carton of USDA graded eggs must show the date of packaging, the processing plant number, and may include an expiration date. USDA assures that all labeling and claims made on the carton are truthful and accurate.

To determine freshness, a Julian date or pack-date calendar can be used.

So about those numbers on your egg carton. Next to the best-buy date is a three-​digit code known as the Julian date. Ranging from to

This service provides consumers qualified third-party assurance that the eggs they buy are the grade marked on the carton at the time the eggs are packed and that the plant processing equipment, facilities, sanitation, and operating procedures are continuously monitored by a USDA grader. USDA graders constantly monitor quality, size, and packaging of these eggs. When the USDA grade shield is present on the carton, the carton must also be labeled with the date and location of where the eggs were packed.

Consumers can also use this information to learn more about the eggs they are buying. This information is typically stamped onto one end of each carton of eggs. Cartons that have the USDA grade shield are marked to identify the company and location where the eggs were packed, and the date that the eggs were washed, graded, and placed into the cartons.

In addition, most packers also provide consumers with a code date, which indicates the last date the eggs should be sold at retail, or used by the consumer. Use of code dates on USDA graded eggs is optional, however, if they are used, certain rules must be followed. Expiration dates can be no more than 30 days from the day the eggs were packed into the carton. Another type of code dating used indicates the recommended maximum length of time that the consumer can expect eggs to maintain their quality when stored under ideal conditions.

Code dating using these terms may not exceed 45 days including the day the eggs were packed into the carton. You can find out where the USDA graded eggs you buy are packed. The number is a three-digit code that represents the consecutive day of the year.

Labelling requirements for shell eggs

With an exception of infant formula described below , if the eggs passes during home storage, a product should still be safe and wholesome if handled properly until the time spoilage is evident Chill Egg Promptly. Spoiled foods will develop an off odor, flavor or texture due to naturally occurring spoilage bacteria. If a food has developed such spoilage characteristics, it should not be eaten. Microorganisms such as molds, yeasts, and bacteria can multiply and cause food to spoil.

Viruses are not eggs of growing dating food and do not cause spoilage.

This three-digit code indicates the date of packaging, starting with.

Because eggs are such a deliciously easy and cheap way to get your protein, you may have dozens sitting in your fridge — which begs the question, can you eat expired eggs? Things start to get a little confusing when it comes to egg expiration dates. Those are the plant number, the package date, and the sell-by date. What do these numbers mean and how can you tell them apart? The sell-by date, which is sometimes written as the expiration date or best-by date, is usually an abbreviated month and the date.

The package date, which is a three-digit code, is the date the eggs were put in the carton. So the sell-by date is really just an indicator of when that day window is over — not when the eggs will go bad. That means that even if you grab a carton of eggs on the sell-by date, they theoretically could be safe to eat for at least another week. Just make sure that your eggs stay nestled in a chilly fridge ; letting your eggs get too warm is a surefire way to make them go bad.

The best place to store eggs is the body of your fridge, not the egg rack.

Good Egg Dating – Cracking the Date Code on Egg Cartons

The freshness of an egg is not only determined by the date when the egg was laid, but also by the way the egg has been stored. Proper handling and storage is perhaps the most important factor in determining freshness. If a freshly laid egg is left at room temperature for a full day, it will not be as fresh as a week old egg that has been refrigerated between 33 degrees F.

Confused by the numbers printed on egg cartons? Us too. So we hatched a plan to decipher them. More information. Cracking The Egg Carton Code: Date.

Your egg carton is trying to tell you something. And if you look closely, it’ll save you a few failed side dishes and some less-than-tasty desserts this holiday season. Many of us check the expiration date before we buy perishable goods—eggs included—but there’s another subtle code on your egg carton that often goes unnoticed. Next to the expiration date is a three-digit code, which actually represents a date in Julian calendar format.

This represents the day your eggs were packed. So, for example, if the three digits are , then your pack date was the th day of the year—or October 1. According to the USDA , fresh eggs can be kept in the refrigerator up to four to five weeks past the pack date. The USDA also provides a helpful chart to help you quickly convert the Julian calendar code to a month and day. Remember that the numbers will vary slightly on a leap year but you won’t need to worry about that until Besides the pack date, there’s even more to your egg carton than you may have realized.

All USDA-graded egg cartons must include a processing plant code and a grade indicating egg quality. By looking at the processing plant code, you can see where your eggs were packaged and how local they are. The plant code usually starts with a P, followed by a four digit number.

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Skip to content. There are specific requirements for the marking of eggs for retail sales, including descriptions and size. There are some differences between the labelling required for packed and loose eggs sold at retail. Both packed eggs and loose eggs sold from trays must be accompanied by the following information:.

Buy eggs within 45 days of the code date. If stamped, follow the “Sell-By” or “EXP​” date on the carton. At home, place the egg carton in the coldest part of the.

Plus, a way to know where they came from and how they’ve been graded. Many of us are familiar with barcodes and UPC codes on products that we buy in the supermarket. Eggs are a little bit different, however. Nearly all cartons are marked with a set of numbers that you’re probably not familiar with. Eggs sold commercially in the United States are marked with a few codes that you usually find next to the carton’s “best by” date, or expiration date. And most shoppers use the expiration date to determine how fresh eggs are.

How many times have you hunted for a carton in the back of the row with a better expiration date, right? But there’s actually another label that can tell you the exact date of when your eggs were packed and shipped off to retailers. It’s a three-digit code that’s usually adjacent or right underneath the expiration date, and it refers to the date by its number in a calendar year.

Cracking the Date Code on Egg Cartons

In this age of quarantine, with trips to the supermarket kept to a bare minimum, food expiration dates are taking on a whole new meaning. In fact, food product dating is completely voluntary for all products with the exception of baby food. Best If Used By — This date suggests when a product will be at peak quality. It will still be safe to consume after that date, but the flavor and texture will diminish.

On the side of your egg carton, right by (or below) the “Sell By” date, you’ll see a three-digit code. No, it’s not an arbitrary serial number; it’s the Julian date, your.

Ever wonder how old those supermarket eggs are that you just bought? Believe it or not, they could be up to two months old. How can you tell, and are they still safe to eat? By law, an egg can be sold for up to 30 days after the date it was put in the carton. And farmers have up to 30 days to go from when the egg is laid to the carton. The one plus side to an older egg? That number represents the day of the year the carton was filled: 1 being January 1st and being December 31st.

Using the code, you can at least tell when the eggs were put in the carton. For example, a carton with the code means the eggs were put in the carton on the th day of the year, or December 11th. If the carton was purchased at the grocery store on January 8th, that means those eggs are at least 28 days old.

Is It Safe to Eat Eggs Past Their Expiration Date?

Did you know that a store can sell food past the expiration date printed on the label? Or that manufacturers only voluntarily stamp dates on foods? While the law states that foods must be wholesome and safe to eat, and the U. That means that you need to become an educated consumer about dating guidelines to protect your health.

Is It Safe to Eat Eggs Past Their Expiration Date? With an exception of infant formula described below, if the eggs passes during home storage, a product should.

Enter your email address below to get Food News delivered straight to your inbox. Ranging from to , the Julian date represents the day the eggs were packaged. Each code corresponds to a day in the year, so would be January 1 and would represent December According to the United States Department of Agriculture, eggs can be sold for up to 30 days after they were packaged.

Ever notice that egg yolks were different shades? This is why. As an egg ages, it loses moisture and carbon dioxide, making the whites thinner and the yolk more susceptible to breaking. And when you eat old, expired eggs, your risk of getting a food-borne disease from them increases. Look, we know stressful grocery shopping can be, but checking the Julian date is an extra step worth taking. Now that you know how to select your eggs, the next step is to break them.

Why not try these tasty hacks for awesome scrambled eggs?

EB Tips: What Does the Date on my Egg Carton Mean?