Monday, August 23, 2010

Salmonella: A Half-Billion Bad Eggs; and Another Sort of Bad Egg

"Supplier in Egg Recall Has History of Violations"
Associated Press, via FOXNews (August 22, 2010)

"Two Iowa farms that together recalled more than half a billion potentially tainted eggs this month share close ties, including suppliers of chickens and feed.

"Both farms are linked to businessman Austin 'Jack' DeCoster, who has been cited for numerous health, safety and employment violations over the years. DeCoster owns Wright County Egg, the original farm that recalled 380 million eggs Aug. 13 after they were linked to more than 1,000 reported cases of salmonella poisoning.

"Another of his companies, Quality Egg, supplies young chickens and feed to both Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms, the second farm that recalled another 170 million eggs a week later...."

DeCoster seems to be something of a 'bad egg' himself - or one of the unluckiest men in America.

More, from that AP article:
  • "In 2002, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a more than $1.5 million settlement of an employment discrimination lawsuit against DeCoster Farms on behalf of Mexican women who reported they were subjected to sexual harassment, including rape, abuse and retaliation by some supervisory workers at DeCoster's Wright County plants.
  • "In 2007, 51 workers were arrested during an immigration raid at six DeCoster egg farms. The farm had been the subject of at least three previous raids.
  • "In June 2010, Maine Contract Farming - the successor company to DeCoster Egg Farms - agreed in state court to pay $25,000 in penalties and to make a one-time payment of $100,000 to the Maine Department of Agriculture over animal cruelty allegations that were spurred by a hidden-camera investigation by an animal welfare organization...."
More, about those salmonella-tainted eggs:I think an important point is that it's still early days in the CDC/FDA investigation of this monumental foul-up in America's food production & distribution system. It'll probably be months before we know with any degree of certainty exactly what happened. In the meantime, there's a mess of eggs to get off the shelves - in groceries, in warehouses: and possibly in your refrigerator.
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