Quality Eggs and Hillandale Farms Settle Salmonella Lawsuit
According to NBC News, Quality Eggs and Hillandale Farms have settled a lawsuit brought by California distributer NuCal which contended loss of profits due to the two egg producers knowingly releasing eggs contaminated with salmonella.
There is currently an ongoing federal grand jury investigation into the same matter after which criminal charges may be brought. This follows a recent $85,000 sexual harassment settlement brought against Quality Eggs in June, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
About Quality Eggs
- Quality Eggs is an egg producer based out of Galt, Iowa.
- The company is owned by Austin “Jack” DeCoster.
- The egg producer has a reported history of violating food safety, labor, and environmental rules.
Quality Eggs Recalled after Salmonella Outbreak
“You should take prompt and aggressive actions to eliminate the Salmonella Enteritidis contamination and the observations described in this letter. Failure to take prompt corrective action may result in regulatory action being initiated by the Food and Drug Administration without further notice.” – Warning Letter issued by the FDA
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported the recall of 550 million eggs in 2010.
- The recall was originally issued to distributers, before scientists traced the salmonella outbreak back to the producers.
- Investigators described the producing farms as having filthy conditions.
- The U.S. government estimated that approximately 62,000 people were sickened by the outbreak.
Lawsuit Brought Against Quality Eggs
- NuCal sued Quality Eggs, Hillandale Farmes, and DeCosta for lost profits that resulted from the 2010 recall.
- NuCal alleged the producers knew of the salmonella outbreak and continued to market the eggs.
- NuCal cited a study issued to Quality Eggs by the Iowa State University which proposed 43% of the poultry houses on the farms were contaminated.
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