August 27, 2020
This week, USDA announced an additional $1 billion for the Farmers to Families Food Box Program as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The third round will put more emphasis on food insecurity and seek entities that can provide combination boxes. Additionally, USDA will require distributors to illustrate how they will provide coverage in areas defined as ‘opportunity zones.’ Most importantly, the boxes include eggs.
Egg content requirements – Meat and Egg or Egg Products (Combination Box)
- Boxes must contain 32 ounces or less of eggs or egg products. Egg products must be 100% eggs, excluding minor ingredients related to storage and shelf life. (Eggs may be included but are not required)
- Shell Eggs consist of the whole intact egg with an unbroken shell, usually sold in cartons. Food safety regulations can vary greatly depending on the type and size of producer. For product safety, shell eggs from an official USDA facility, with registered plant numbers (P- numbers), should be the only product permitted.
- In addition to traditional liquid and powdered items, “egg products” should include ready-to-eat (RTE) items such as hard-boiled eggs, egg patties and omelets. Although this list is not exhaustive, it offers fair representation that eggs are the main focus of the item. These products are subject to federal food safety oversight (FSIS and/or FDA), including elements of HACCP, good manufacturing practices and a required lethality step to aid in foodborne illness mitigation.