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ABC News Investigation: What’s In Your Breakfast?

November 19, 2011
by

From ABC News

McDonald’s will be looking for a new source of eggs for many of its hugely popular Egg McMuffins.

The fast food company says it “will no longer accept” eggs from one of the country’s biggest egg companies, Sparboe Farms, that is the subject of an ABC News investigation to be broadcast Friday on “20/20” and “World News with Diane Sawyer” and was cited Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration for “significant…and serious violations” in the production of eggs.

In one of the most forceful enforcement actions since last year’s salmonella egg outbreak, the FDA issued a company-wide warning letter to Sparboe Farms, the country’s fifth largest egg producer.

Citing “serious” and “significant violations” at five different locations, the FDA cited at least 13 violations of the recently enacted federal egg rule meant to prevent dangerous salmonella outbreaks.

“This is a warning that there is a systemic problem, not just at one barn or one location,” said former FDA food safety chief David Acheson, now an industry consultant.

The ABC News broadcast will include undercover video taken over the summer inside Sparboe facilities in three states by an animal rights group, Mercy for Animals, that appears to show unsanitary conditions and repeated acts of animal cruelty.

Until today, the Sparboe facility in Vincent, Iowa, had produced all eggs used by McDonald’s restaurants west of the Mississippi River.

In its statement, McDonald’s said its decision was based on concerns about “the management of Sparboe facilities.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Vodpod videos no longer available.


Vodpod videos no longer available.



“McDonald’s expects all of our suppliers to meet our stringent requirements for delivering high quality food prepared in a humane and responsible manner,” the company said in a statement released to ABC News overnight.

READ: McDonald’s Full Statement

But Mercy for Animals executive director Nathan Runkle said today that McDonald’s action was “too little, too late.”

“This investigation illustrates that McDonald’s lacks the basic policies and oversight to prevent blatant animal abuse at its egg suppliers,” Runkle told ABC News.

The Mercy for Animals activist who went undercover to record the video inside Sparboe told ABC News chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross, “I saw workers do horrendous things to birds, they were thrown, grabbed by the neck, they’re slammed in and out of cages.”

Runkle said the video shows how health hazards can be linked to large scale, low-cost egg producers, so-called “factory farms.”

“They’re the model of efficiency but they place an emphasis on profit over animal welfare,” said Runkle, who says he and his members eat no animal products because of the animal cruelty they have seen.

Sparboe executives told Ross the employees seen on the tape abusing the chickens were all fired.

“We have a zero tolerance policy,” said Ken Klippen, Sparboe’s director of government relations. “People who violate that policy, we take that very seriously.”

On a one-hour guided tour of the Sparboe facility in Vincent, Iowa, the source of all McDonald’s eggs for restaurants west of the Mississippi, Klippen told Ross the Sparboe’s facilities are “state of the art.

Sparboe has never had a single egg or chicken detected with salmonella, said Klippen, who added “there was no cause for any enforcement action.”.

The 2010 salmonella outbreak affected more than 1,900 people and was traced to a different Iowa egg producer, Wright County Eggs.






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what is in your breakfast
if it ever cried, ever lived
and sadly, died
is not food at all
for food is meant to
sustain
not bring about suffering,
heartache or pain

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


2 Comments leave one →
  1. karen lyons kalmenson permalink
    November 19, 2011 1:07 pm

    what is in your breakfast
    if it ever cried, ever lived
    and sadly, died
    is not food at all
    for food is meant to
    sustain
    not bring about suffering,
    heartache or pain

    Like

  2. lindabadham permalink
    November 19, 2011 2:56 pm

    HINDSIGHT IS A WONDERFUL THING ! ANIMALS SHOULD BE PRIORITY ANYWAY FROM THE BEGINING. NO EXCUSE , JUST THE QUICKEST LOW COST FOR BUISNESS WITHOUT A CARE FOR THE TORTURE OF THE ANIMALS THAT END UP IN MACDONALDS AND THE OTHERS ! DISGUSTING TO ME !

    Like

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