The Secret to Freshness in Supermarket Eggs is in a Carton Code
I was going to title this Getting Laid: The Secret to Eggs but the rooster above seemed a little offended. Before it tells me to cluck off I've got a great question: How old are those supermarket eggs you just bought? Believe it or not, there's a code on the carton and it's the key to finding out when approximately it popped out of the chicken and when it hit the carton.
According to the Farmer's Almanac, expert - or eggs-pert, rather - Lisa Steele from Fresh Eggs Daily helps us navigate the code on the carton to ensure freshness. After all, when the carton boasts "farm fresh eggs" we want it to be just that. She states (and I didn't know this) farmers have up to 30 days from the time the egg is laid to when it's put in the carton. And that same batch of eggs can be sold for up to 30 days after the packing date. So eggs can be up to 2 months old when we buy them? Yes. But if you read the numeric code on the carton, you'll be able to make the freshest purchase possible. Keep in mind that even at two months old, the eggs are totally fine to eat. The benefit to an older egg is that if you hard-boil them they will be easier to peel - a trick my mother taught me years ago.
Back to the carton.
"On each egg carton, there’s a number from 1 to 365. That number represents the day of the year the carton was filled: 1 being January 1st and 365 being December 31st. Using the code, you can at least tell when the eggs were put in the carton."
Here's an example: If the carton has the code is 147 it means that 147 days have passed in this year so the 147th day of the year is May 27th. So we can tell that the eggs were put in the carton on May 27th.
Also, pay attention to the Best By date. The eggs cannot be sold more the 45 days from the day they were put in the carton.
Thanks, Lisa, and the Farmer's Almanac for fresher breakfast eggs going forward!