EGGS: A CONSUMER GUIDE
For accurate price comparison when purchasing eggs, compare different sizes of the same grade.
What information is included on the egg carton label?
All eggs sold at retail must be prepackaged in new cartons. Labels must include the grade, size, candling date, and name and address of the packer, distributor or retail store. Although not required by law, operators are encouraged to stamp cartons with a date by which eggs should be sold.
The candling, or Julian, date is a three-digit number indicating the specific day of the year on which the eggs were graded, sized and packed. For example, the number 001 would represent Jan. 1, while 365 would be Dec. 31. This number provides an indication of the eggs' freshness.
Eggs cannot be sold at retail more than 30 days after the candling date.
To prevent eggs from being sold beyond this time frame, many packers mark cartons with a "sell by" date. The "sell by" date, also called the expiration date, must not exceed 30 days after the candling date. After the expiration date has passed, unsold eggs are returned to the supplier where they may be recertified by trained graders or shipped to egg breaking plants for processing into liquid, frozen or dried eggs.
Are eggs nutritious?
Yes. Eggs contain 13 vitamins and numerous minerals. One egg provides 10 to 13 percent of the daily reference value for protein--as much as one ounce of lean meat, fish or poultry. Egg protein is the highest quality food protein--second only to mother's milk for human nutrition.
Eggs are nutrient-dense; they provide many nutrients compared to the number of calories they contain. The following chart lists the calorie count for different sizes.