Austin J. DeCoster, the owner of the Iowa egg farm which caused a salmonella outbreak in 22 states that sickened around 1,600 people — leading to a recall of 388,000 eggs — testified before a congressional subcommittee and kind of, sort of apologized for the whole mess. He's "horrified" that people got sick, and said "We apologize to everyone who may have been sickened by eating our eggs."
You know, maybe we would've believed it back in the 80s, when salmonella-contaminated eggs were traced back to DeCoster the first time. Turns out his egg farms have been causing salmonella outbreaks all over the place since 1987. He has also had run-ins with labor and immigration authorities.
Reports of his farms' conditions are nauseating, on a level that will probably lead PETA to use them in ads for the rest of eternity. They were infested with flies, rats, and other pests, and the phrase "overflowing with manure" comes up in reports, as well as several times so far during the hearings. No wonder the eggs ended up contaminated.
· An Iowa Egg Farmer and a History of Salmonella [NYT]
· Filth, Rats Found at Iowa Egg Producers at Center of Recall [USA Today]
· Egg Farm Family Apologizes for Salmonella Outbreak, Promises Reforms [CNN via Eatocracy]
· All Food Safety Coverage on Eater
Austin J. DeCoster. [Photo: CNN]