Make Our Food Safe
09/02/2010

"Eggs' 'Grade A' Stamp Isn't What It Seems"

The Wall Street Journal | Alicia Mundy and Bill Tomson

"To some shoppers, the meaning of the "USDA Grade A" shield on egg cartons seems pretty obvious.

"It means that the rabbi's blessed this as kosher, right?" said Stephen Potter, an early-morning shopper at a Safeway store in Alexandria, Va.

"It means they've been checked. It's the quality seal. They're safe," suggested Susan Hergenrather, who was cruising the aisles at a Harris Teeter supermarket.

Wrong and wrong. The mark on the carton just means that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had a "grader" at an egg-packing facility who checked the eggs' size and color and made sure the shells weren't cracked, a USDA official said. Consumers "misunderstand" the shield, he said ... "

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