Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Have you ever wondered how fresh the eggs you buy are?  You might be surprised.
A farmer has 30 days to put the eggs to cartons and then another 30 days to sell them.  Ok, at this point I was very surprised.

I learned recently that the FDA does not require dates for freshness on eggs.  The "best buy" date is set up by the managers of the store.  It does nothing to tell you how old they really are.

There is another number on the carton that is far more important than the "best buy".  It is called the Julian date.
That is the day of the year that the eggs were placed in the carton. (Technically they could be 30 days old at that date.)
I got the cartons I had in the fridge out to see what mine said.  Mine did not have a "best date", but a "sell by" date.  That means they should still be good for a while after that.

REMEMBER - there are sell by, use by, and best if used by dates.  There is nothing etched in stone according these dates.  The stores will generally mark items down or pull them from shelves if they haven't  SOLD BY their sell date.  The other dates - are just recommendations.  I have always used groceries past the dates and they are fine.

Look at this picture - see the 007 under the sell by date?  (2nd line/left side)  That means my eggs were put in carton on the 7th day of the year.   Basically this carton of eggs needed to be sold after being packaged a total of 28/29 days.
Again, a Julian date marks the day of the year anything was packaged.

PAT ATTENTION to that mark on your egg cartons from now on.  The closer the two numbers are the BETTER and FRESHER your eggs are.
No where on my carton did I find a USE BY  date. 
Best advice is, if you place an uncooked egg in cold water  (at least a 1/2" over egg) and it's bad - it will float!!!  If it's ok, it will stay under the water.
Don't eat floating eggs!

Another word of advice when storing your eggs, is to always store them small end down.  That keeps the membrane at the larger end of egg intact and makes it easier to peel when hard boiling.  Also, DO NOT store eggs in the door of the fridge (those little egg racks).  They door is opened too many times a day, and that section will not stay as cool as needed.  Keep them in their cartons and store on a shelf in the fridge.
Eggs kept at about 45* should be good 4-5 weeks beyond the Julian date, regardless of the "best by" date.

If your eggs are getting to a date that they should be used - freeze like we talked about in an earlier post last year.

Stay safe with your food.
Have an EGGstrordinary day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Thanks, Cheryl, egg-cellent information!

  2. Now if I could only remember all the things I should remember! Glad I can sometimes get my organic eggs from a neighbor by bartering! Nancy

  3. Thanks for this eggcellent lesson. :) Would you mind if I shared this info?