Dead chicken in battery cage

Iowa-based Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms—the two producers responsible for the recall of 500,000 eggs potentially contaminated with salmonella—should be put out of business. 

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, last week said these companies were “not operating with the standards of practice that we consider responsible,” according to the New York Times

Now we know some of the specifics: These factory farms, whose eggs have sickened roughly 1,500 consumers, were overrun with rodents, maggots and flies, and chicken manure heaps. Henhouses were filthy and broken down, with rusted holes, structural damage, unsanitary employees and seeping manure. 

And the worst news, per the Associated Press: “A poultry industry specialist cautioned, however, that such conditions likely exist at many egg farms in the U.S.” 

So, does this mean the average American will switch to cage-free and organic eggs? 

Unlikely, according to MSNBC. Network  contributor Linda Carroll has found that consumers may make short-term changes, “but if the reactions to past recalls are any indicator, dietary changes for most people will be short-lived.” 

In the meantime, farmers’ markets are enjoying brisk sales as consumers shop for untainted eggs. To find a farmers’ market near you, visit Local Harvest

Photo: Farm Sanctuary

Put an end to factory farming