HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >

Discussion

Why are they stamping eggs with a use by date?

I think I heard this was coming, but when I bought a carton of eggs today and opened them to check their condition, I was surprised to find each egg individually stamped (or laser printed I guess) with a use by date. Whatever could the purpose of this be, unless you bought so many cartons of eggs and jumbled them all together and couldn't remember which were older? Seems like a waste of time and money to me.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. You're buying fancy-brand eggs?

    It IS a waste of time and money - then again, I know SOME branches of my favorite grocery chain that have more ready-to-eat food than they have ingredients (huge salad bar, almost no vegetable section). Which tells me that the clientele there is definitely in a "make it for me and tell me how to heat it" state of mind. They'd need dated eggs.

    Buy the cheap eggs - they all come out of the same place anyway.

    1. Um ... to prevent food poisoning?

      Eggs DO go bad, after all, (and they're VERY nasty when they do), and not everyone goes through a dozen eggs in a timely manner. I have friends who cook VERY occasionally, and about the only time they use eggs is when they're baking a cake (from a mix, of course), so it wouldn't surprise me if they used less than a dozen eggs a year and ar completely oblivious to the fact that the carton has a "use by" date on it.

      Still, stamping individual eggs seems like a waste. Guess it just goes to show that the fact that something CAN be done means that, eventually, it WILL be done.

      1. I have only seen it done by a local Egg Ranch who supplies to the San Diego County Trader Joes. It maybe easier and less costly than stamping the cartons (where the eggs are sometimes re-packaged when a few are broken). lawsuits you know....

        1. No, these are the cheap, on sale eggs with the generic grocery store name on them. And the carton is stamped too. After thinking about it, I realized not everyone uses eggs as much as I do, but still!

          1. I'm glad they do it. I often do mix eggs... for example, yesterday I had four eggs but needed nine for a bread pudding. I went and bought a dozen eggs, but took all nine from the "new" container so they'd be consistent (or at least be a similar age, which does matter).

            Now I have four eggs from last week and three from this week in one container. If I'm going to make egg salad, for example, I'll want the four eggs from last week since older eggs peel more easily when hard-boiled; if I'm going to make dippy eggs for breakfast I'll want the newer ones because new eggs hold their shape in the pan better.