How California's New Rules Are Scrambling The Egg Industry

Within just a few days, on Jan. 1, all eggs sold in California will have to come from chickens that live in more spacious quarters — almost twice as spacious, in fact, as the cages that have been the industry standard.

It's been a shock to the egg industry, and to grocery stores. Eggs are one of those staples that self-respecting grocery retailers absolutely, positively have to keep in stock. "You have to have bread, milk, lettuce. You have to have eggs," says Ronald Fong, the president and CEO of the California Grocers Association.

That's why, right now, California's grocers are doing whatever it takes to get their hands on eggs that are stamped with a new, almost incomprehensible label: CA SEFS Compliant, which stands for California Shell Egg Food Safety Compliant.

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