With the consensus of the island’s organized egg production sector, Agriculture Secretary Carlos Flores-Ortega, signed a new administrative order to require that all local and imported egg containers carry an expiration date effective July 1, 2019.
At present, the imported product only contains the date when the eggs were packaged, with no expiration date for the eggs. But starting in July, consumers will be better able to determine the freshness of the product in which local eggs “will always have an advantage,” he said.
An administrative order has been signed and will be included in the egg industry’s regulations that local and imported must carry an expiration date on the packaging.
“With this order, an expiration date is set for eggs. Both imported and local,” Flores said. “This is the result of a series of meetings involving egg producers and food distributors to join efforts in support of the stability and growth of this important industry on the island.”
The Department of Agriculture’s Deputy Office of Agrocommercial Integrity will create a protocol to evaluate the packaging and expiration date of eggs in different establishments. Minimum compliance of quality, sanitation and labeling requirements will also be monitored.
“We are pleased with the Department because we see its commitment with the industry and health of the people who consume the products,” said Steven Benitez, president of the Puerto Rico Egg Industry Development Fund. “It has achieved something that we’ve talked about for a long time. We hope it will be beneficial for both the industry and importers.”
Egg cartons must have the expiration date with the term “Use by” imprinted on them. The date must be calculated from the date the eggs are packed and cannot exceed 45 days.