If you want to find the freshest eggs possible at the grocery store, don’t just look at the expiration date.  There’s another number on the carton that’s even more accurate . . .

There should be another string of digits, either above or below the expiration date.  And THREE of those numbers are the “Julian date,” which tells you when they were packed.

Even if the expiration dates on two cartons are the same, their Julian date might be a little different.  But it’s not the type of date you’re used to seeing.

The three digits represent a specific day of the year between 1 and 365.  So if they were packed on April 4th, the Julian date would be “094,” because it’s the 94th day of the year.  And December 31st would be “365,” because it’s the last day of the year.

Depending on the brand, the Julian date might be the first three digits, or the last three.

There’s also a number with the letter “P” in front of it.  But that’s just the ID number of the packaging plant.  So ignore that one, and look for the three-digit Julian date instead.  It should be right next to it.

Once you find it, just look for the carton with the most recent Julian date, and those should be the freshest eggs.  Usually that’ll be the highest number . . . except in January when a really high number means the eggs were packaged in December.