I had not planned on writing this post today, it kind of just happened naturally. I wanted to make some eggs for breakfast this morning, when I noticed the date on the end of the carton. It was dated about 3 weeks ago. I wanted to know if my eggs were still safe to eat.
I had heard somewhere that eggs were still good well past the date on the carton, but I could not remember for how long. I did some research, and found several sites saying the same thing. Do you remember my post about the How to Figure Our the Expiration Date of Wilton Candy Melts? I found out that the number system on eggs is very similar. You will see two numbers on the egg carton along with a date. The number that begins with a P, that is the number of the plant where your eggs were processed. The other number, in this case the 086, is the date the eggs were packed based on the Julian calendar. To figure out what day it means, just look up Julian Calendar in your browser, and you will see several choices to choose from. I found out 086, means March 27.
I also found out that sell by, best by and expiration date all mean the same thing, and it will say different things depending on the plant. That date can not be more than 30 days after the date the eggs were packed, according to USDA regulations. So even though it says the eggs expired on April 25th, that is definitely not the case. If you get rid of your eggs by the date on the package, you are throwing away a lot of eggs that are still good to eat. According to What's Cooking America eggs are safe to eat 4 to 5 weeks after the date as long as they are stored properly.
I also found out that there is a very easy test to see how fresh your eggs really are. To check, just fill a bowl or glass with cold water. If the egg sinks and lays flat, it is still fresh. If your egg sinks and stand up on it's side a little like this one, that is okay too. They are still fresh enough to eat, and at the perfect stage to turn into hard boiled eggs. Did you know that if you use a very fresh egg for a hard boiled egg it is much harder to peel? So if you want to take a batch of deviled eggs to a party or picnic, they will look a lot better if you use eggs a few weeks old. If your egg floats you should throw it away because it is no longer fresh. Another interesting fact that I learned. The reason why an egg that floats is no longer fresh is because their shell is porous. Air enters the egg through the shell. The more air inside the egg, the older the egg is and the more buoyant it will be. It is also best to store your eggs inside the carton on the inside of the fridge. Storing open in the door will cause your eggs to go bad much sooner.
The next time you want to make eggs, be sure to try this simple test and figure out if they are still safe to eat.