All egg cartons have a sell by date on the side of the carton aka an
expiration date. You definitely want to look at that sell by date
BUT more importantly- you want to look at the number above.
Look at the egg carton I purchased this morning.
(Today's date is January 21st, 2016)
The number above the month (FEB) in this case is "005".
This number indicates that these eggs were packaged on January 5th.
The number goes all the way up to... 365. Yup, you guessed correctly!
The number of days that are in a single year. The eggs NEXT to these eggs
(not pictured) were on sale for 2 dozen eggs for $3.00.
The number on the eggs on sale were 360 meaning they were packaged
on December 26th, 2015. Yikes! Those 360 numbered eggs are pretty old.
Keep in mind that prior to packaging more often than not eggs
are also stored up to one week. As long as eggs are stored in
temperatures of 33-40 degrees when raw- they will be ok.
The consecutive dates of the year from 1-365 on egg cartons are called
the Julian Date. Don't worry if your Julian Date is 20 days over or even 25 days.
As long as fresh shelled eggs that are raw are stored in appropriate
temperatures- most eggs are ok 4-5 weeks beyond the Julian date.
So then what's the point of the expiration date then... you ask!?
Again, as long as un-cooked eggs are stored in temperatures up to
40-45 degrees they are good but as the expiration date gets closer-
the egg will lose some quality ie: if you are baking-
the cake might not rise as high as expected or the whipped consistency
in a meringue might not be as fluffy etc. You get the idea.
Always read labels in your food. You can eat healthy and fresher
sometimes simply just by looking at parts of a label or stamping.
Whip it Good, Let's Cultivate Food