These numbers represent the consecutive days of the year.
In other words, the FDA does not require that egg producers mark their cartons with a “best by” date- it is up to the manufacturers to decide whether to do so.
And according to Fresh Eggs Daily, that optional “best by” date is not telling of how old the eggs may be.
Instead, Fresh Eggs Daily suggests looking at another label on the carton, which is usually found below the “best by” date.
That label includes a number, called the Julian Date, which marks the day of the year that the eggs were placed in the carton.
So if you’re shopping for eggs and you see a Julian Date that is more than forty days old, it’s probably best to pick up a different carton.
S Department of Agriculture (USDA)-graded eggs must display a Julian date – the date the eggs were packed.
On USDA grade-shielded egg cartons, if an expiration date appears, it can be no more than 30 days after the pack date.
It may be less than 30 days through the choice of the packer or quantity purchaser, such as your local supermarket chain.
Almost everyone knows to look at “best by” dates when buying perishables.
However, there are a vast differences in how manufacturers choose to label this date on packages, including “best used before,” “sell by” and “use by” dates.
However, eggs can be safely eaten 2-3 weeks beyond the expiration date or sell by date.