The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that shell egg shipments to Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, will have new regulations.
“Puerto Rico will now require 45 day ‘Use by’ dating on case labels, individual packages, and on flat of loose eggs,” informed the National Egg Farmers Association in a weekly report issued on July 1, citing a USDA press release signed by Mark Perigen, national supervisor — shell eggs, for the Livestock and Poultry Program.
In addition, USDA said the labels of any box or container of eggs marketed in Puerto Rico must include: grade and weight class, name and address of packer, number of eggs in the container, and the date of pack expressed as Julian date. It should also include the “use by” dating (45 days maximum), the name of the importer and license number, the plant number, the USDA Grade A stamp, and the grade percentages.
On individual consumer packages, the USDA said the label should include: the grade, weight class and brand, the name and address of the packer, the plant number, the code dating, the “use by” dating, and the number of eggs in the container.
“There is a note (mostly for industry notification) that Puerto Rico will not accept state certifications as substitutes for AMS grading,” informed the association.
The Puerto Rico Market Regulation also requires to mark eggs in their shell with the abbreviation “U.S.” if they were produced in one of the 50 states of the United States, and it demands the use of black or dark blue ink color in brown eggs’ stamps.
“All eggs intended for distribution to Puerto Rico must be USDA graded and accompanied by a LPS-210S grading certificate. Certificate must state: ‘Eggs are fit for human consumption’ in remarks section,” the USDA said.
The new regulations were established after the secretary of the Puerto Rican Agriculture Department, Carlos Flores, signed an administrative order to require an expiration date on all the imported and local egg packaging “to help the consumer to have a better judgment on the freshness of the product.”
Puerto Rico imports 90% of the eggs for consumption on the island, said Flores to the Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora.