Egg law would keep one cracked egg from spoiling the bunch

Illinois lawmakers have hatched a plan they say will keep grocery stores from wasting so many eggs.

State law says if just one egg in a carton is cracked, the grocery store has to pull the whole dozen from the shelves. The store isn't allowed to toss the bad egg and replace it with a good one.

A proposal in Springfield would let grocery stores consolidate eggs from the same brands, grades and sell-by dates, potentially reducing waste and not letting one bad egg spoil the bunch.

“This bill is no yolk,” state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat and the proposal's sponsor, said.

The Illinois Farm Bureau has concerns. Spokesman Kevin Semlow said the law exists to help track when something goes wrong in a batch of eggs and not spread problems further.

The bureau is asking lawmakers to add additional labeling if a grocery store consolidates the eggs.

Opposition hasn't scrambled the plan so far. It won approval by a House committee last month and could face a full vote in the coming weeks.

The legislation also would require store to train its workers on the consolidation rules, and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association supports the idea, saying 41 other states have similar laws.

Republican Rep. Peter Breen of Lombard has joined Nekritz in backing the proposal, saying of the Farm Bureau's concerns that “you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette.”

“This is one of those no-brainers that gets brought to your attention as a legislator,” Breen said.

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