People in self-quarantine must be eating eggs every day because they’re flying off supermarket shelves. To keep up with demand, the Food and Drug Administration is relaxing packaging guidelines so suppliers can get them to grocery stores faster. What does this mean for you? Egg cartons might look different soon.
If you look at a normal egg carton, the packaging includes the name of the manufacturer, distributor, egg size, grade, quantity, safe handling instructions and nutrition facts. Despite there being enough shelled eggs for consumer demand, there is a shortage of properly labeled cartons. This is why the FDA is temporarily allowing stores to sell unlabeled eggs.
Since there are all types of different eggs — large, jumbo, organic, vegetarian, cage-free, pasture-raised, free-range — you might be wondering how you’re supposed to tell them apart. Although the packaging might be missing labels, stores must provide signs, cards or tags at the point of purchase to identify the product and manufacturer, packer or distributor. They must also include safe-handling instructions, but they can’t post any nutrition facts.
The eggs you find at the grocery store might also come in larger quantities on flats or pallets typically reserved for restaurants and food service. This initiative is a direct result of the increased demand during the coronavirus pandemic. The FDA says these measures are only temporary and that regular operations will continue when demand goes back to normal. Until then, if eggs are unlabeled at the grocery store, they are still safe to eat. If you're bored of eating them scrambled day after day, shake things up in the kitchen with these unexpected ingredients that go great with eggs.