The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking immediate action to assist the American egg industry in redistributing the current inventory of safe, high-quality table eggs from foodservice warehouses to retail distribution to support the surge in consumer demand for this staple food.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a rapid and dramatic shift in demand away from eggs produced and packaged for foodservice use toward those suitable for sale at supermarkets. This shift has created a temporary misalignment in the supply chain.
To support a robust supply of table eggs, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is immediately waiving the provision that prohibits official grading for eggs over 21 days in age or which have previously shipped for sale. This temporary deviation from the voluntary grading regulations will help meet consumer demand by allowing eggs sent to foodservice to be returned to the origin farms for reprocessing, repackaging, and grading for retail distribution.
Also, AMS will allow a temporary extension of the age restriction for eggs bearing the USDA grade shield, from no more than 21 days to 30 days, including the date of lay.