Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Article

How to Spot the Freshest Eggs

Fine Cooking Issue 55
Photo: Scott Phillips
Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note

You might be surprised to learn that some egg cartons tell you exactly what day the eggs were packed—a piece of information that’s a lot more specific than a sell- or use-by date. About one-third of the eggs in the U.S. are packed under the USDA’s voluntary grading service. If the eggs in your market were graded by a USDA inspector, the carton will display a USDA grade shield (shown here), and a three-digit code that reveals the packing date will be stamped somewhere on the carton, usually on the short side near the expiration date. The code is actually a Julian date, meaning it represents a day of the year, not a day of a month. So, a carton marked “001” means it was packed on January 1; “365” means it was packed on December 31. To find the freshest eggs in your store, look for the packing date that has the highest number (with the exception of the transition from December to January).

Don’t confuse the packing date with the packing plant number, which is always preceded by the letter “P.” If the carton doesn’t have a USDA shield, then it was packed under local regulations, which vary from state to state, and it may or may not carry a packing date.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Video

View All

Season 4 Extras

Topping, VA (409)

Pete welcomes us to Virginia on this episode of Moveable Feast, where we meet skilled oystermen Ryan & Travis Croxton, as well as chef Dylan Fultineer. Dylan brings Pete to…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks