Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried issued an emergency order waiving certain packaging and labeling requirements for eggs sold at Florida retail food establishments.
“Now more than ever, Floridians need access to safe, healthy, farm-fresh foods like eggs,” said Commissioner Fried. “This order will give industry flexibility to meet increased consumer demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are fully committed to working with agricultural producers and retailers to get more fresh products to consumers at this critical time.”
During Commissioner Fried’s emergency order, packages of shell eggs will not be required to have printed certain information such as date of pack, grade, and size, although retailers will provide in-store statements with the information typically required. This will allow eggs to be moved more quickly from producers to retailers.
Today’s order follows an announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it would provide temporary flexibility on certain packaging and labeling requirements for shell eggs sold in retail food establishments. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is responsible for inspecting the packaging and labeling requirements for shell eggs.
FDACS is working closely with federal partners, producers, and Florida retailers to ensure a resilient food supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic. Industry stakeholders and retailers with questions related to this order are encouraged to contact the Division of Food Safety at FoodSafety@FDACS.gov or 850-245-5520.
The FDA’s industry guidance on the temporary packaging and labeling policy for shell eggs may be found here.