Iowa Egg Business Sold

US - Following a widespread Salmonella outbreak last year, the DeCoster family has given up control of its Wright County Egg operations in Iowa, Maine and Ohio.
calendar icon 24 November 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

An entrepreneur who built one of the nation's largest egg production operations from scratch even as he racked up environmental and labour violations is quitting the business after one scandal proved too much to overcome: a nationwide salmonella outbreak caused by his products, according to USA Today.

Austin (Jack) DeCoster and his son, Peter, have given up control of egg operations in Iowa, Maine and Ohio, they said in a statement earlier this week. The newspaper reports that their farms produced Salmonella-tainted eggs that sickened an estimated 1,900 people and led to a recall of 550 million eggs. Later, federal inspectors uncovered filthy conditions at the farms, including dead rodents and towers of manure.

USA Today reports that an Iowa firm has signed a nine-year lease with an option to buy six DeCoster operations in Iowa, while Minnesota-based Land O'Lakes bought the Maine farms, and a deal could be announced soon involving Iowa investors taking over the Ohio egg operations.

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