The Real Reason The FDA Is Rolling Back Labeling Policies On Eggs

Egg prices are through the roof and some countries are going to extreme measures to make sure there are enough eggs being imported if they can't produce their own. For some reason during this coronavirus crisis, eggs have been extremely hard to come by. Because of such demand, the United States Food and Drug Administration has decided that they're going to loosen their own regulations when it comes to the labeling of eggs, which they hope will make it easier to keep enough quantity in stock in America's grocery stores (via My Recipes). 

The FDA put out a press release which said that it would "provide temporary flexibility regarding certain packaging and labelling requirements for shell eggs sold in retail food establishments so that industry can meet the increased demand for shell eggs during the COVID-19 pandemic." In effect, this means that cartons of eggs sold during the coronavirus crisis will be lacking pieces of information that you would normally find on them. For example, on any given carton of eggs, you will generally find information about where they are from, who packed them, who distributed them, and so on.

Why the FDA no longer requires information on egg cartons

The thinking in removing the requirement to include this information was that the facilities that provide the labeling on cartons of eggs might be understaffed or closed as a result of the pandemic, which would create a bottleneck in the egg supply chain.

Now that the FDA has rolled back its guidelines, egg distributors are going to be able to simply put eggs in unlabeled containers. This change doesn't mean, however, that there won't be any information available about the eggs whatsoever. The new FDA rules still require a "statement of identity" for the eggs, which means that the information that you normally get on the carton will instead be displayed in one place for all to see (i.e., on the egg shelf), rather than on the cartons themselves.

The decision is only temporary and it's widely expected for the country's egg scenario to go back to how it was after this crisis is over.