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and animal feed industries.
Egg Production
on November 21, 2011

McDonald's drops egg supplier Sparboe Farms

Sparboe Farms recently cited by Food and Drug Administration for federal egg rule violations.

McDonald's recently dropped its egg supplier, Sparboe Farms, following citations from the Food and Drug Administration for "significant...and serious violations" in egg production, according to an ABC News report.  

The fast-food chain "will no longer accept" eggs from Sparboe Farms after the egg producer was issued an FDA warning letter and cited at five different locations with more than 13 FDA violations of the federal egg rule, which is meant to prevent Salmonella outbreaks. Sparboe's facility in Vincent, Iowa, was previously producing 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," after a video by the group Mercy for Animals showed cases of animal cruelty at five of the company's facilities in Iowa, Minnesota and Colorado.

Target said it also dumped Sparboe as an egg supplier at its Super Target stores nationwide and was pulling Sparboe's eggs off store shelves immediately after "having been made aware of the unacceptable conditions in the company's egg laying facilities."

Sparboe has never had a single egg or chicken detected with Salmonella, said Ken Klippen, Sparboe's director of government relations, concluding that "there was no cause for any enforcement action."

"I was deeply saddened to see the video because this isn’t who Sparboe Farms is," said Sparboe President Beth Sparboe Schnell. "Acts depicted in the footage are totally unacceptable and completely at odds with our values as egg farmers. In fact, they are in direct violation of our animal care code of conduct, which all of our employees read, sign and follow each day."

According to a statement from Schnell, the company launched a comprehensive internal investigation upon learning of the video, and is working with an independent auditor from Iowa State University.

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