Days before Easter, state hopes to make eggs easier to find

The Florida Department of Agriculture issued a 30-day emergency order that loosens the requirements for labeling cartons of eggs.

The order, enacted April 7, allows grocery stores to buy and sell eggs in cartons that do not have the grade and date labeled. Instead, the grocery store will need to put that information on a placard near the egg cartons, like where the price is, for example.

The goal is to get eggs back on store shelves as quickly as possible because they are in such high demand right now.

Local farmers say they're feeling the demand too.

"There are some people who come down to the farm at 12 o'clock noon when we distribute the eggs to the public and they want two, three, four, or five dozen and clean us out," said Marion Lambert, the owner of South Tampa Farm.  "The only way we can take care of that is to limit them to one a family."

The Department of Agriculture says restaurants have a surplus of eggs right now, and they should be able to give or sell their eggs to grocery stores. However, the requirements for restaurants and grocery stores are different in terms of how eggs are labeled. 

When restaurants buy eggs, they don't come with the date and grade labeled on the carton. So, this emergency order will allow grocery stores to buy the eggs without the usual regulations.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

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