December 8, 2021

Volume XI, Number 342

Advertisement
Advertisement

December 07, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

December 06, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

Was a Bad Egg Behind the Egg Recall?

380 million eggs have now been recalled from an Iowa egg production facility in what some are calling the largest  egg recall in history. 

Unfortunately, as one of the nation’s top food safety advocates predicts, the outbreak will likely grow over the coming weeks. So far, close to 2,000 people have been sickened with salmonella from the bad eggs, with that number pretty much guaranteed to grow.

At the center of this massive recall is the family-run egg farm Wright County Eggs, based in Galt, Iowa. The owner of this company is Jack DeCoster, 75, who could be labeled a bad egg if one reads the litany of lawsuits and plant health violations he’s had filed against him in the past. Let’s take a look at two complaints:

One of the more egregious was filed in the summer of 1996 when DeCoster was made to pay more than $3 million in fines after the U.S. Labor Department found dead chickens being picked up by workers with bare hands. The complaint also stated that DeCoster’s workers also lived beside manure and rat-infested trailers, according to the Associated Press. The complaint led to a boycott of DeCoster’s eggs by several major supermarkets. In 2000, the Iowa attorney general dubbed DeCoster a “habitual violator” of the state’s environmental laws and ordered him to pay a $150,000 fine. DeCoster had failed to properly dispose of the hog and chicken manure and had let it run into a nearby creek.

Add to that the 10 counts of animal cruelty DeCoster pleaded guilty to in regards to his company’s treatment of its chickens. Then, in June, he was ordered to pay “more than $100,000 in fines and restitution, a ruling that is considered one of the landmark animal cruelty cases in history.”

In seems ironic that new egg safety rules were put into place July 9 by the FDA to help reduce the risk of salmonella outbreaks. This risk management proposition:

Addresses several aspects of egg production, particularly spots where chickens and egg production seem most vulnerable to infection by Salmonella enteritidis. While the new regs only immediately effect the largest of the nation’s egg producers, those producers also account for the overwhelming number of eggs produced.

The average person would say Wright County Eggs failed to successfully implement this, and other, risk management measures. The outcome for any company that fails in this aspect is, most times, lost earnings, lowered market share and tainted reputation. Not a good mix.

eggs

 

The above article is reprinted from the Risk Management Monitor - the official blog of Risk Management magazine.

Reprinted with permission from the Risk Management Monitor. Copyright 2010 Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume , Number 233
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Editor

Emily Holbrook is the editor of Risk Management magazine and the Risk Management Monitor blog.

212-655-5915
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement