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McDonald's Egg Supplier's Health Violations, Animal Cruelty

Leading Egg Supplier Under Fire For Health Violations

Have you always pooh-poohed those cage-free, organic eggs sold at the supermarket? Well, read ahead, because a new story may have you thinking twice.

A 20/20 special airing today on ABC shows workers at Iowa-based Sparboe Farms — the fifth-largest shell egg producer in the US and main supplier for eggs at McDonald's — burning off the beaks of young chicks; dead, rotted hens being pulled out of cages; and live chicks being thrown into plastic bags to be suffocated. The footage, caught undercover by animal rights group Mercy for Animals, was powerful enough for McDonald's to announce today that it's broken ties with Sparboe Farms for good.

The FDA also issued a warning letter to Sparboe yesterday, citing 13 violations that could potentially contribute to salmonella contamination. McDonald's has issued a statement maintaining this controversy is "not a food safety issue for our menu items," but it's likely this egg exposé will be one for the books. If you have the stomach to watch the video, tell me: does it surprise you?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
HumaneFoodFinder HumaneFoodFinder 5 years
Thank you so much for writing about this. Now we should all contact McDonald's and Target and ask them to buy CAGE-FREE eggs! This will help move the egg and chicken industry in the right direction. Check it all out at humanefoodfinder dot com.
sevimel sevimel 5 years
I'm not a vegan or even a vegetarian but I swear things like this make me seriously consider a lifestyle/diet change. I'm sure that company is doing the same things most of them are, they just happened to get caught. Sickening...
Kaleycakes01 Kaleycakes01 5 years
This is disgusting. I completely agree with Toxins post. Salmonella and Escherichia Coli easily spread through these conditions. Its not safe for the chickens or people and the people/corporation involved should be ashamed. Im so glad I'm a vegan.
Toxins Toxins 5 years
I always have been strongly against factory farming. Not only is it inhumane, but it spreads diseases, like salmonella and e coli easily. Salmonella, the leading cause of food-poisoning related death, can survive most common egg cooking methods including scrambled, over-easy, and sunny-side-up. Cross-contamination onto fingers, utensils, or kitchen surfaces may pose an additional threat. Check it out on this science based, non commercial website
Sandle Sandle 5 years
I watched that video last night, and it honestly made me cry - I'm glad that companies are dropping this farm, but I wonder if this farm is really an outlier in the industry, or if unfortunately one of many farms that operate like this in our country today.
fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
Just heard on the early evening news that Target is discontinuing selling Sparboe as well!
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 5 years
I love Egg McMuffins — they've been a guilty pleasure my entire life — and I really don't know if I can ever eat another one again.
fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
I can't watch the video. Now way, no how. Just reading about this has sickened me. I hope that other restaurants, and hopefully grocery stores and consumers, follow suit.
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