Puerto Rico Agriculture Dept. to Require Expiration Date for Eggs
Cannot exceed 45 days beyond pack date
SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico Agriculture Secretary Carlos Flores signed an administrative order Thursday requiring all packaging for local and imported eggs to include an expiration date. The order goes into effect July 1 and received the support of the island’s egg production sector, Flores said in a statement.
The official explained that imported egg packaging only contains the date on which they were packed but lack a product expiration date, but that starting in July, the island’s consumers will be able to determine the freshness of the product.
The executive order, Flores said, is the “result of a number of meetings in which egg producers and food distributors participated in, joining efforts in support of the stability and growth of this important industry on the island.”
The Agriculture Department’s Auxiliary Secretariat of Agro-commercial Integrity will establish a protocol to evaluate the packaging and expiration dates at different establishments. In addition, the office will corroborate the fulfillment of the minimum quality requirements, sanitation and labeling, using the terms “use before” or “use by” in the packaging.
“We are pleased with the Agriculture Department because we see the commitment it has to the industry and with people’s health,” the president of the Puerto Rico Egg Industry Development Fund, Steven Benítez, said in a statement. “We have achieved something that we had been talking about for a long time. We hope that it benefits the local industry and importers.”
Flores, meanwhile said the date printed on the packaging “should be calculated starting on the day the eggs were packed and cannot exceed 45 days,” and “should be written with the month, day and year.”
He added that his department is the best line of defense for Puerto Rican consumers and is committed to ensuring that consumers receive the best-quality products.
“Without a doubt, this requires initiatives to be developed and measures to be taken that aim at strengthening the marketing of products,” Flores said. “This administrative order is one of the measures that focus on strengthening our production.”
The secretary stressed that the recovery and strengthening of all farming sectors have been one of the Gov. Ricardo Rosselló administration’s priorities.