Food The Secret (Slightly Disturbing) Meaning Behind the Numbers on Your Egg Carton

02:36  15 september  2017
02:36  15 september  2017 Source:   Taste of Home

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Do Not Panic! To be clear, this does not mean that the eggs you are buying at the store are bad or dangerous. The issue that is being raised is the misleading "farm fresh" label many cartons of eggs carry.

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  The Secret (Slightly Disturbing) Meaning Behind the Numbers on Your Egg Carton © Taste of Home

Chances are you almost always have eggs in your fridge. Whether baked, scrambled or poached, they're one of the most versatile items on the grocery list. (Check out some egg-tastic recipes here.) You might think the best way to pick a carton is by checking the grade, size, and expiration date, but there's a secret, more efficient way to tell how fresh your eggs are. Interested? Keep reading.

How to Decode Your Egg Carton

On the side of your egg carton, right by (or below) the "Sell By" date, you'll see a three-digit code. No, it's not an arbitrary serial number; it's the Julian date, your fail-safe guide to fresh eggs.Ranging from 001 to 365, the Julian date represents the day the eggs were packaged. Each code corresponds to a day in the year, so 001 would be January 1 and 365 would represent December 31. Once the eggs are packaged, they'll keep in your fridge for four to five weeks. Psst! Here's how long your other grocery staples will last.According to the United States Department of Agriculture, eggs can be sold for up to 30 days after they were packaged. So even if they're in stock and not expired, they might be weeks old. Eew!

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Look For These Numbers On Your Egg Carton , Here’s What You NEED To Know. If you have ever wondered what the three mysterious numbers printed beneath the “best by” date on a carton of eggs were for, you’re probably not alone, but you really need to know what they mean .

It turns out that there is a set of numbers called a Julian Code, and it indicates the day a carton of eggs was packaged. For example, if a code reads "344", that means it was packaged on the 344th day of the calendar year.

So, Why Does it Matter?

It's obvious newly packaged eggs taste better, but an egg's quality can significantly deteriorate over time. As an egg ages, it loses moisture and carbon dioxide, making the whites thinner and the yolk more susceptible to breaking. And when you eat old, expired eggs, your risk of getting a food-borne disease from them increases.As for the code starting with a "P" right next to the Julian date? That's the plant code, which represents where the eggs were packaged. If there's an egg recall, the plant code will determine whether your carton is included.Look, we know stressful grocery shopping can be, but checking the Julian date is an extra step worth taking. If you don't want to whip out your calendar and calculator (we don't blame you), here's a general rule of thumb to follow. If you're buying eggs in early to mid January, look for lower numbers (015 will be significantly fresher than 364). If you're buying eggs later in the year, look for the highest number possible. Now that you know how to select your eggs, the next step is to break them. Why not try these tasty hacks for awesome scrambled eggs? Bon appetit!

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Home » real food tips » Why You Should Only Eat Pastured Eggs + Unraveling the Real Meanings Behind Egg Carton Labels. Egg grading is not mandatory, but many companies pay the USDA to grade their eggs in order to put that on the label and charge a slightly higher price.

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