Egg Carton Coding Requirements:
Egg packaging is classified into paper (paperboard, recycled paper, and molded cup) and plastic (polyethylene terephthalate and polystyrene), and further broken down by cartons and trays.
Carton coding is a requirement for egg farms and factories across the U.S. High resolution digital printing on egg cartons ensures retailers can manage inventory, Consumers can check freshness of the product, and regulatory requirements are met for identifying and tracking products. If eggs are packed under USDA’s grading service, the cartons can bear theUSDA grademark. According to the USDA, when the USDA grade shield is present on the carton, the carton must also be labeled with the date and location of where the eggs were packed.The pack date (the day that the eggs were washed, graded and placed in the carton) is a three-digit code that represents the consecutive day of the year (the “Julian Date”) starting with January 1 as 001 and ending with December 31 as 365. When a “sell-by” date appears on a carton bearing the USDA grade shield, the code date may not exceed 45 days from the date of pack. Most state requirements are similar.