Jack DeCoster’s Salmonella Touch

Another Massive Egg Recall

Another massive egg recall, another tie to scofflaw Jack DeCoster.

Nearly 300,000 eggs have been recalled, affecting eight states, after Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. got word on Friday from the FDA that eggs from one of its suppliers, Ohio Fresh Eggs, tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis (SE). Cal-Maine processed and packaged 24,000 dozen eggs in its Green Forest, Arkansas facility under the Sunny Meadow, Springfield Grocer, Sun Valley and James Farm labels.

Cartons bearing plant number P1457 with Julian dates of 282, 284 and 285 are being recalled. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P1457-282.

The eggs involved, which were not produced from Cal-Maine flocks, were distributed to food wholesalers and retailers in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. There have been no confirmed SE illnesses related to the purchased eggs, reports Cal-Maine.

The FDA released the information this morning, three days after notifying Cal-Maine.

According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Jack DeCoster invested in Ohio Fresh Eggs, reported The Iowa Independent:

Ohio Fresh Eggs has had ties with both Orland Bethel and Austin “Jack” DeCoster, the two men behind Iowa egg production companies at the center of a recent massive egg recall….

In December 2006, the Ohio Department of Agriculture ordered Ohio Fresh Eggs to shut down on grounds that its operators, Bethel and Don Hershey, neglected to report that an anonymous investor with an option to purchase the company was DeCoster, who had already been labeled as a chronic and habitual violator of environmental laws in Iowa.

DeCoster’s name did not appear on the documents, according to Ohio authorities, because his previous run-ins with state and federal regulators would have made it more difficult for the company to operate in Ohio under a state Livestock Environmental Permitting Program.

The revocation was later overturned.

Jack DeCoster, owner of Wright County Egg,  involved in this year’s half-billion egg recall after 1,600 people were sickened by salmonella poisoning, has a decades-long history of environmental and labor law violations.

Providing a timeline of infractions covering decades, The Atlantic said, “[Wright County Egg owner, Jack] DeCoster has left a trail of illness, injury, mistreatment, and death in his wake for decades. That he has been left to police himself for so long is a stunning testament to the failure of federal regulators.”

The AP reported that “his facilities tested positive for salmonella contamination hundreds of times in the two years before this summer’s outbreak.”

Congressman Henry Waxman told the New York Times that for decades, “DeCoster farms have had warning after warning. Yet they continue to raise chickens in slovenly conditions and to make millions of dollars by selling contaminated eggs.”

Cal-Maine advises:

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis or arthritis.

Consumers who believe they may have purchased potentially affected shell eggs should not eat them but should return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund. Questions and concerns may also be directed to Cal-Maine’s corporate office at 1-866-276-6299 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CDT.

Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. is primarily engaged in the production, grading, packing and sale of fresh shell eggs. The Company, which is headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, currently is the largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the United States and sells the majority of its shell eggs in approximately 29 states across the southwestern, southeastern, mid-western and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

Concentrated animal feeding operations promote infection and contamination of the food supply, a direct threat to food security. Two massive recalls in a single year bolster the move toward small, free range operations.  Many urbanites would benefit by raising their own flock, as Leah Zerbe points out in 5 Reasons Why Chickens Belong in Your City, Town, or Neighborhood.

Rady Ananda began blogging in 2004. Her work has appeared in several online and print publications, including three books on election fraud. Most of her career was spent working for lawyers in research, investigations and as a paralegal. She graduated from The Ohio State University’s School of Agriculture with a B.S. in Natural Resources. Read other articles by Rady.

6 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. kalidas said on November 9th, 2010 at 8:45am #

    Fooling (with) Mother Nature again, huh?

    Could catch a bad case of karma.
    Instant and/or regular.

    Unless of course you happen to be a neo-intellectual vanguard. Penultimate proof of an evolutionary fitness of mind and ego. (which came first?)

    Good luck with THAT.

  2. Don Hawkins said on November 9th, 2010 at 11:50am #

    Rraising their own flock Rady that would be a very good idea. One of my Grandson’s job’s is to go get the egg’s and the wife and my son’s wife vegetable garden is doing better every year. My Son grow’s crops soon to go to soy beans. I spend a good amount of time in my bait shop and if you ask the younger folk who come in my shop where milk comes from they don’t say the store. Now heck let’s pick one ok New York City and maybe the people on State welfare who eat at say the Four Seasons I wonder how many still think milk, eggs, rice, soy beans comes from the store. I would love to be a waiter there just one day or half a day as the service I would give could be a little out of the norm. What did you just say your ‘re not from around here are you as my name tag was being pulled.

  3. Don Hawkins said on November 9th, 2010 at 12:12pm #

    Go to a search engine and type in James Hansen he has a web page that the few don’t like much. You will see his last post Nov 8 and titled Blue Planet Acceptance. Here’s a few words from that new post.

    “Today we face a great moral crisis. Human-made climate change pits the rich and powerful against the young and unborn, against the defenseless, and against nature”.

    What does the post have to do with? Almost anything you can imagine.

  4. kalidas said on November 9th, 2010 at 1:04pm #

    Don, I always ask them something simple and proper.
    “Ever milk a cow?”

    You’d be surprised at the feed back you get.
    Not always what’s expected.

    I’ve met several “upper crust” theologians from Eastern Europe who have indeed milked a cow.
    One gentleman from Romania stands out in particular.
    Immediately we were connected in a way more intimate than his connection with many of his contemporaries.
    This very nice parlance led to shared feelings which have lasted to this day.

  5. j30 said on November 9th, 2010 at 2:43pm #

    yep, grow yer own 🙂


    11/9 UPDATE: An additional 120 dozen shell eggs that have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis (SE), were added today to the products included in this recall.

    Product Description Plant Number Julian Date Sell By Date
    Pippin Loose Medium 1457 282 11/07/10

  6. j30 said on November 9th, 2010 at 2:44pm #

    Pippin Loose Medium P1457-282