Today the FDA issued a guidance to provide temporary flexibility regarding the packaging and labeling of shell eggs sold to consumers in retail food establishments.
Temporary Policy Regarding Packaging and Labeling of Shell Eggs Sold by Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Guidance for Industry (Apr. 2020)
The guidance essentially permits retailers to sell full cartons and flats of shell eggs to consumers, provided:
- The establishment displays clearly at the point of purchase (for example, on a counter card, sign, tag affixed to the product, or some other appropriate device) the following information:
- Statement of identity,
- The name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor, and
- Safe handling instructions for shell eggs that have not been processed to destroy all viable Salmonell
- If shell eggs from multiple suppliers are offered for sale at the same time and in the same location, it is clear to consumers which point of sale labeling applies to which of the shell eggs that are offered for sale.
- The shell eggs are sold by the complete carton or flat (for example, 30 eggs are sold in a flat designed to hold 30 eggs).
- There are no nutrition claims at the point of purchase for the shell eggs.
This guidance complements the FDA’s prior guidance that temporarily provides restaurants and food manufacturers with flexibility regarding nutrition labeling so that they can sell certain packaged foods during the current pandemic. Cartons and flats of shell eggs originally destined for restaurants and similar foodservice establishments, as well as newly packaged shell eggs, may be sold at retail consistent with the present guidance.
While the guidance is effective immediately, comments on it nonetheless may be submitted to FDA under the agency’s good guidance practices.