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Understanding Dates on Egg Cartons

Many eggs reach stores only a few days after being laid. Determining the freshness of eggs can be confusing at times, as some egg cartons feature two dates.

The Julian date is the “pack date,” when the eggs were washed, graded and placed in the carton. This three-digit code represents the consecutive day of the year, with January 1 as 001 and December 31 being 365. The Julian date is usually found on the short side of the carton. Eggs are safe to be consumed four to five weeks beyond that date, as long as they are kept refrigerated.

Many egg cartons also have a sell-by date or expiratio...


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