I notice that many eggs nowadays have print on them that states the expiration date of the egg. I have only see the print in pink. Are these print safe for consumption, for example, if I boil an egg with such printing on it along with other food in the same pot, is it safe to eat the food boiled along with it? I am wondering what's the content of the print, is it just food coloring, which should be safe to eat?
It'd be ironic if the eggs were marked with a date to enhance food safety, but the vendor used an ink that's not food-safe.– CalebApr 14, 2020 at 16:54
This is an excerpt:
Regulatory compliance. Inks used for egg coding must comply with government regulations governing food marking inks. These broadly state that inks printed on food items must be safe for human consumption, both when the food item is raw and when it is cooked. Egg coding must not weaken the egg shell or penetrate through the shell. Once dry, the ink should remain on the egg shell and not contaminate the egg during the cooking process.
Now, that is taken from this link which is actually an advertising pamphlet by a company selling their printing service, but it should be true for commercial products. If a small farm is stamping their own, then it might be worth questioning them.
I would expect to see more and more eggs getting the inkjet treatment as more countries are making it a requirement, not just acceptable. One would assume this is to prevent practices like carton swapping and relabeling of old product. Myself, the only eggs I have purchased with it on also happened to be in red and it was only logos, not date and tracking info. They did not do a good job with the fast drying aspect as the logos were smeared on some eggs, but when the eggs were boiled it did not fade or further smear. There are multiple food safe inks, often meat and meat products are inked thought typically on fat, skins or casings, but candies, baked goods and such are expanding that practice steadily. I am not sure what type of inks they are using as soy based food grades any I have seen tend to smear and wash off. I can only hope since these are food agency approved and even required in some places they were reasonably tested.
Videojet is a reputable authority for print technologies in the industrial food production sectors, so they are a good source to reference from. However, this answer could be improved by the following: 1) reference to code for the reg cited, 2) archival or cached copy of the hyperlink included (which is now dead), 3) specifications on food-safe / GRAS inks in common use, which I suspect could be obtained from VideoJet if you have a rep who's willing to dig it up for you.– Arctiic23 hours ago