On each egg carton, there’s a number that shows the “best by” date.
A Facebook page called “Fresh Eggs Daily” posted an image, saying that “the average grocery store egg might be 45 days old (or more) by the time you buy it.”
“So today (1/19) I was shopping and snapped a few photos of some egg cartons. EVERY date I saw on them was between 352-355, meaning that those eggs were put in that carton on the 352nd-355th day of last year. Add to that the 19 days so far this year, and these eggs have all been in the carton for about a month (and could have been laid up to 30 days prior to that) and check out the Sell by dates—these eggs can still sit on the shelf for a few more weeks,” the page added.
The post concluded by saying that people should “just be aware of the food you’re buying” and “know how to read labels.”
According to Delish, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires all egg products to be labeled with the product name, the manufacturer’s name, the official identification, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval number, ingredients statement, net weight statement, and nutrition information. The FDA, however, doesn’t have rules on expiration dates.
That’s right, “with the exception of infant formula, the laws that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) administers do not preclude the sale of food that is past the expiration date indicated on the label,” the agency states on its website.
The “FDA does not require food firms to place ‘expired by,’ ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ dates on food products. This information is entirely at the discretion of the manufacturer,” it added.
The USDA also came up with an image to help people out:
The label includes a number, referred to as the Julian Date (according to the Julian Calendar) that marks the day of the year the eggs were placed in the carton. If the label has 358, it means the eggs were packed on Dec. 25 (day 358 out of 365).
The Food Safety and Inspection Service notes that eggs refrigerated at 45 F should keep for four to five weeks beyond the Julian Date.
(H/T: IJ Lift)