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FDA Provides Flexibility for Shell Egg Producers

Agency issues guidance to support food supply chain and meet consumer demand during COVID-19


FDA has issued temporary guidance to address the increasing consumer demand for shell eggs sold at supermarkets and retail establishments. The first of two guidance documents addresses packaging and labeling, since the industry has enough shell eggs available but not enough retail packaging appropriately labeled according to FDA requirements. Eggs typically sold directly to restaurants and other large-scale foodservice institutions can be sold on flats or in other packaging to supermarkets and other retail locations. The agency is now providing flexibility for certain information, such as the name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor, to be displayed at the point of purchase. Consumers may see this information displayed on a counter card, sign, or tag rather than directly on the packaging.

Another action FDA is taking is to provide producers of eggs that normally would be sent to facilities for processing into egg products — typically used in restaurants — the flexibility to sell their eggs for distribution to retail locations, such as supermarkets, when certain conditions are present. Under its temporary policy, FDA also is providing flexibility for shell eggs that normally would be further processed into egg products, such as liquid whole eggs, to be sold directly to retail locations when certain conditions are met. Additional information about this temporary policy can be found in this guidance.

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