PDF version. Are dates required on these food products? Does it mean the product will be unsafe to use after that date? Here is some background information answering these and other questions about product dating. What is Food Product Dating? Two types of product dating may be shown on a product label.
What Do Dates On Egg Cartons Mean?
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
Let’s start with the Julian date. The Julian date is a time stamp that indicates when the eggs were packaged. This date is typically found on the.
There’s certainly no shortage of eggs to choose from in the grocery store aisle, and while there’s a definite variety ranging from white and brown eggs to organic and free-range , they all have one thing in common — that numbering on the side of the carton. Go look at the egg carton sitting in your fridge right now and you’ll find that there’s definitely some code of numbers on the side. Part of these numbers, of course, refer to the “best used by” date of the eggs.
You’ll also notice, though, that there are some additional numbers on the carton. These mysterious numbers aren’t there just by accident, and they serve a very practical purpose that may just change how you go about deciding which carton of eggs land in your grocery cart. Checking the “best by” date on your carton of eggs is a good way of ensuring that you pick up a fresh carton, but it’s not the only way to tell.
Next time you’re in the grocery store, check out an egg carton and you’ll notice some additional numbers below or on top of the “best by” date. This three-digit sequence refers to the specific date that your eggs were packaged via Insider. The numbers should be somewhere between to , and refer to the specific day in the calendar year that your eggs were harvested.
There’s a Secret Code That Tells You Exactly When Your Eggs Were Packed—Here’s How to Read It
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.
Nutrition facts table; Available display surface of egg cartons Lot Code section under Manner of declaring on the Date Markings and Storage.
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.
This three-digit code indicates the date of packaging, starting with January 1 as and ending with December 31 as These numbers represent the consecutive days of the year.
Cornell Cooperative Extension
On December 14, , amendments to nutrition labelling, list of ingredients and food colour requirements of the Food and Drug Regulations came into force. Regulated parties have a five 5 year transition period to meet the new labelling requirements. For the purposes of this web page, shell eggs include only chicken eggs of the species Gallus domesticus that are graded in a grading station operated by a licence holder unless otherwise noted.
This section summarizes the labelling requirements that apply to imported shell eggs, as well as those that are produced, treated, graded, packaged or labelled in Canada for interprovincial trade and for export.
To help you understand the markings that adorn an egg carton, here’s a a series of numbers and usually a “best by” date stamped on the side. UPC bar code or any other identifying numbers added to the package after it.
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
Egg Carton Dating – Cracking the Date Code on Egg Cartons
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?
What do the Dates on Egg Cartons Mean? Why are there Bar Codes on Food Packages? How does Date Labeling Impact Food Waste?
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. University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension. According to the U. Many eggs reach stores only a few days after the hen lays them.
Information from the Georgia Egg Commission:. This numbering system is sometimes used on egg cartons to denote the day the eggs are packed. Fresh shell eggs can be stored in their cartons in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 weeks beyond this date with insignificant quality loss.
Cracking The Egg Carton Code: Date Codes Explained
Eggs are often still good to eat long after the date on the packaging says to throw them out. If you want to test how fresh they are before finding out the hard way, here are a few methods for testing them. Your eyes and nose are the best tools for determining freshness with meats, produce and herbs — it’s pretty obvious when something’s moldy or smelly.
But you can’t smell and see an egg before you crack it unless you’re highly skilled , so how do you tell if it’s still good?
Dating of Egg Cartons. Egg processors typically print dates commonly called “Code Dates” on cartons for purposes of rotating stock or controlling inventory.
Thank you so much! Long before the sell date was put on the carton, we would bring eggs home, take them out of the carton and place in the egg rack built into the refrigerator! I am almost certain we ate eggs the were months old! I have reached the ripe old dating of past I think we are making best much out of past long eggs last? In the U. So why would they best stay fresh for 3 weeks after I bring them home? When you purchase eggs at the store they sell kept at the proper temperature for longest life.
If they ride around in your cart for 45 min. The loss of freshness and quality starts past taken from the fridge. After the eggs have reached temperature above 45 degrees, they start to deteriorate in the shells. They are still safe to eat as long as you get them back in the fridge, but past we do not realize how long the eggs have been out as we do the our running. To maintain the best freshness, pick up your eggs and dairy products right before you check out.
Here’s what those numbers on your egg carton really mean
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. Sell By — This date tells retailers when the product should be removed from shelves.
Each carton of USDA graded eggs must show the date of packaging, the processing plant number and may include an expiration date.
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:. Eggs can only be packed into boxes by a registered packing centre. Unmarked boxes may be provided for customers’ convenience for sales of loose eggs.
Eggs, whether loose or packed, must be marked with a best-before date. It is best practice to sell eggs within 21 days of laying. There is no legal requirement to have a sell-by date on eggs but it may help you to ensure eggs are sold within the 21 days. Where no sell-by date is shown, it is best practice to remove eggs from sale seven days before their best-before date.
Only the following weight grades are permitted for eggs; no other terms may be used to describe the weights of eggs on retail sale:. The method of farming relating to the stamped code can be indicated using the wording below, where applicable.