Lawsuit: Egg Farm Knew About Salmonella Outbreak Months Before Egg Recall

decoster32.jpgA federal grand jury probe has uncovered documents showing a major egg producer knew that eggs from his factory farms were contaminated with deadly bacteria months prior to the salmonella outbreak that sickened 62,000 Americans. Not surprisingly, Austin "Jack" DeCoster, the egg tycoon linked to the outbreak, has a long history of endangering public health and abusing animals. His 30-year criminal rap sheet also includes charges of indenturing migrant workers and exploiting young children, and he has been deemed a "habitual violator" of state environmental laws.

In 2004, MFA investigators documented filthy, disease-ridden conditions at a DeCoster-backed Ohio Fresh Eggs facility, including hundreds of thousands of egg-laying hens with broken, damaged, and feces-covered feathers packed into battery cages so small they couldn't spread their wings, and chicken corpses left to rot in cages with birds still producing eggs for human consumption.

A DeCoster egg factory farm in Maine was the subject of a 2009 MFA undercover cruelty investigation that revealed hens suffocating in trash cans, chickens kicked into manure pits to drown in liquid feces, and workers whipping birds around by their heads in cruel attempts to break their necks. The investigation led to a raid by state police and DeCoster was ordered to pay more than $130,000 in fines and restitution after pleading guilty to 10 counts of cruelty to animals.

Here is the footage from the 2009 undercover investigation:


In spite of state and federal prohibitions, and such repeated run-ins with authorities, DeCoster and other egg industry giants continue to endanger public health, the environment, and animal welfare. And instead of protecting consumers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been helping to cover up food safety violations at egg farms. Meanwhile, pro-factory farming legislators in some states are working to make criminals out of those who dare to expose cruel, corrupt and even illegal practices at factory farms and slaughterhouses.

The good news is that it is easy to safeguard your health and prevent needless cruelty to animals by simply transitioning to a compassionate vegetarian diet. If you've been thinking about ditching eggs in favor of healthy and humane alternatives, visit for tips on baking without eggs, delicious egg-free recipes and more.