Arizona bill aims to extend shelf life of eggs

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Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo, Bigstock

Arizona legislators are considering a bill that would change the amount of time between when an egg is candled and sold, and still be able to be labeled with the AA grade.

Presently, eggs must be sold within 24 days of being laid in order to be called AA eggs. However, under legislation presented by Rep. Jill Norgaard, R-Phoenix, an egg could still carry the AA grade for up to 45 days after it is candled.

The bill has been given the blessing of the Arizona Retailers Association, which believes that eggs shouldn’t be removed from supermarket shelves as quickly as 24 days after being laid.

Glenn Hickman of Hickman’s Egg Ranch, which has operations in Arizona, expressed to the Arizona Daily Sun that the bill does have its shortcomings.

When the current egg dating law was first enacted in 1984, testing showed that eggs met the AA standard of firmness of the yolk and the egg white through the first 24 days, but by the 25th day, usually one or more out of a dozen eggs did not meet those standards, Hickman told the newspaper. A similar set of tests done 30 years later, and those tests showed the same results.

Hickman said that eggs were not necessarily any less healthy for consumption, but there is the ethical dilemma of the eggs not meeting the standards that consumers are paying for and expecting.

The state’s department of agriculture has not voiced an opinion concerning whether it is for or against the proposed bill.

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