Egg Use By Dates
A breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast was as common as baseball and apple pie.
With increasing rates of heart disease and concerns about cholesterol, eggs were labeled as a food to avoid. Recent research hasn’t exonerated eating eggs especially, if you have high cholesterol, but most doctors and health experts agree limiting egg consumption to 1 per day is acceptable.
Eggs are a good source of protein, inexpensive and one large egg has only 70 calories.
Eggs sold to consumers in the United States are labeled with a Sell By Date. That is the recommended date retailers should offer those eggs for sale. Usually the sell by date is one to two weeks beyond the purchase date. But how long can you safely refrigerate eggs after you buy them?
Unlike many other foods, eggs with their protective shell have a long shelf life before their quality regrades or the eggs actually spoil. A conservative guideline is using eggs within 5 weeks of their packing date. The problem is egg cartons don’t aren’t labeled with a packing date. But, they are labeled with a packing code.
The last three numbers below the Sell By Date is the day of the year the eggs were packed. In the photo above it is day 330 or November 24, 2012. Based on this date, these eggs should be used by December 28th.
Since most calendars aren’t numbered by consecutive days, I’ve prepared an Egg Use-By Date Chart you can down load in PDF format. The chart includes February 29th. For non-leap years subtract one day.
For best results, refrigerate eggs in their original carton rather then an egg shelf found in some refrigerators. The carton provides added protection.
Click here to open or download Egg Use by Chart.