Q.: I have eggs that say “best by” a specific date. It’s past that date. Are they still good to eat?
— H.B., Akron
A.: Oh, if I had a dollar for every time I have been asked about egg safety! I would be retired with my millions by now.
Here is the officially recommended storage procedure for eggs from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service:
Many eggs reach stores only a few days after the hen lays them. Egg cartons with the USDA grade shield on them must display the “pack date” (the day that the eggs were washed, graded, and placed in the carton). The number is a three-digit code that represents the consecutive day of the year starting with Jan. 1 as 001 and ending with Dec. 31 as 365.
When a “sell-by” date appears on a carton bearing the USDA grade shield, the date may not exceed 45 days from the date of pack.
Always purchase eggs before the “sell-by” or expiration date on the carton. After the eggs reach home, refrigerate the eggs in their original carton and place them in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the door. For best quality, use eggs within three to five weeks of the date you buy them. The “sell-by” date will usually expire during that length of time, but the eggs are perfectly safe to use.
Got a food question? Lisa Abraham has the answer. Call 330-996-3737; email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ask Lisa” in the subject line; or write to her at 44 E. Exchange St., P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640. Please include your name (initials will be printed on request), hometown and phone number.