When buying groceries, the expiry date is the first thing we look for.However, when it comes to eggs, this date may not clearly indicate how fresh the eggs are.
As the FDA has left the best-by labeling on egg cartons optional, it is up to egg manufacturers to decide whether to do so.
This “best by” date, which is noncompulsory, doesn’t tell how old the eggs are. If you want to know this information, look for another label on the carton, normally found below the “best by” date.
This label includes a number, called the Julian Date, which gives the day of the year the eggs were packaged. For instance, the number 358 means that the eggs were packaged on December 24.
In other words, if you chose a carton of eggs containing the Julian Date of 358 on January 20, it means that the eggs are at least 26 days old.
According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service, when eggs are refrigerated at 45 degrees Fahrenheit, they should be good for consumption for other 4-5 weeks beyond the Julian Date.
So the next time you’re buying eggs, look at the Julian Date to get the freshest egg!