McDonald's & Target cuts ties with egg producer
This weekend, McDonald's dumped one of the companies that puts the egg in the Egg McMuffin. The world's most popular fast food chain made the decision after an undercover investigation by ABC News.
Sparboe Farms is the fifth largest egg producer in the country. All of McDonald's eggs for its restaurants west of the Mississippi used to come from it's huge, closely guarded operation in Iowa. But according to an ABC News investigation, it is a so-called factory farm where chickens are stacked six to a cage, barely able to turn around.
The company has long defended the process that turns out billions of cost-efficient, safe eggs. But an animal rights group, Mercy for Animals, made an undercover video showing mindless, animal cruelty. There is also a highly critical inspection report from the Food and Drug Administration, and a company-wide warning about unsanitary conditions, including insects, rodents and large numbers of dead birds that could lead to the spread of salmonella.
Sparboe produces billion of eggs in its facilities in three states and claims it has never discovered salmonella in a single one of them. The company says sanitation is a high priority.
But the company's claims have been undercut by both the FDA inspections at five different Sparboe locations and the dramatic undercover video capturing scenes the company called aberrations and the work of rogue employees who were fired.
The Target Corporation also pulled Sparboe Farms eggs from its shelves, after these allegations of animal cruelty came to light.