Jack DeCoster

Manager at DeCoster Egg Farm Admits Bribe Conspiracy Before 2010 Outbreak

BribeEarlier this week, FIC blogged about ongoing Salmonella problems at Iowa facilities once owned by egg tycoon Jack DeCoster, despite a new owner that vowed to improve egg safety in the state. Meanwhile, an update in the investigation into the 2010 Salmonella outbreak surfaced on Wednesday when former DeCoster Farms manager Tony Wasmund acknowledged he and another person conspired to bribe a USDA inspector "to allow the sale of unapproved eggs."

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Former DeCoster (now Centrum Valley Farms) Facility Still Haunted by Salmonella

eggcarton2_attPhoto courtesy of wikimedia user Gisela FranciscoCentrum Valley Farms is the company that planned to ”clean up Iowa’s egg industry” last year when it took over the notorious operations of Jack DeCoster in the state. You may remember DeCoster's eggs were implicated in the 2010 Salmonella outbreak that sickened about 2000 people. Unfortunately, it looks like Centrum Valley has food safety problems of its own. According to the Associated Press, the FDA sent a warning letter to the company after finding Salmonella Heidelberg (a different bacteria strain than the more common Salmonella Enteritidis blamed for the 2010 outbreak) in two of six poultry houses.

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DeCoster Egg Farm Knew About Widespread Contamination Before Salmonella Outbreak

petri_dishes_salmonellaFIC blogged a couple weeks ago about the criminal probe against egg tycoon Jack DeCoster regarding the 2010 Salmonella outbreak. A lawsuit filed by NuCal Foods – which purchased millions of eggs from DeCoster's Iowa farm that it later had to recall – alleged that DeCoster and his companies knowingly sold tainted product and kept information from the public.

Well, it turns out he knew a lot, according to newly released evidence from an Iowa State University facility hired by DeCoster to test for contamination.

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Egg Tycoon DeCoster Back in Limelight Over Ongoing Salmonella Investigation

eggsDid you think we'd heard the last of Austin "Jack" DeCoster and his egg empire problems? They haven't seemed to escape him since his Iowa farm's products were tied to the 2010 Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 1900 people.

The Associated Press reports that there has been an ongoing investigation since that summer into whether fraud or other crimes were committed in egg production and testing:

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"Former" DeCoster Egg Farm Battles Workers Over Labor Rights

Photo via flickr user CALM Action

Old habits die hard, and complaints of labor violations at facilities tied to egg farm tycoon Jack DeCoster continue -- despite his company's (Quality Egg of New England, formerly DeCoster Egg Farm) repeated claims of changed ways. A DeCoster-owned farm operation in Iowa was one of the companies tied to the Salmonella outbreak in 2010 that sickened more than 1500 people. And now Quality Egg in Maine is in the news over workers' rights.

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Antitrust Battle Unveils Egg Price Conspiracy

Photo via wikimedia user David Shankbone

Grocery shoppers may have noticed a significant increase in the price of eggs in the last decade. A recent lawsuit blames an egg cartel that allegedly manipulated the market to inflate prices.

The plaintiff, a Maryland-based unit of the French food service giant Sodexo, accuses the United Egg Producers trade group and leading egg farmers of conspiring to limit supply in order to increase demand.

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Another Egg Recall; Complete with Ties to Iowa Farmer

Photo by wikimedia user StaraBlazkova
Another giant egg recall has been announced, just in time for people to remember that our food system's problems aren't going away. The FDA alerted leading egg distributor Cal-Maine Foods Inc. on Friday that its supplier, Ohio Fresh Eggs, "had a routine sample test positive for salmonella." Apparently, the farm never intended to ship the contaminated eggs.
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