A lot of people are still a bit touchy about eggs following last year’s salmonella outbreak and subsequent massive recall. Thus, when the folks at McDonald’s saw an upcoming ABC News report on — and learned of an FDA warning against — one of their major egg suppliers, the fast food giant decided it was time to take its business elsewhere.
Sparboe Farms, the country’s fifth-largest egg producer is the subject of undercover reports about possible unsanitary conditions and alleged animal cruelty that will appear tonight on both ABC’s World News and 20/20.
On Thursday, the FDA issued a company-wide warning to Sparboe in which the agency cites “serious” and “significant violations” at five different locations, including at least 13 violations of the recently enacted federal egg rule meant to prevent dangerous salmonella outbreaks.
And until this morning’s announcement, Sparboe had supplied all the eggs used by McDonald’s restaurants west of the Mississippi River. Now, the Golden Arches says it “will no longer accept” eggs from Sparboe.
“McDonald’s expects all of our suppliers to meet our stringent requirements for delivering high quality food prepared in a humane and responsible manner,” the company said in a statement to ABC News.
McDonald’s says that, because the eggs are properly cooked before serving to customer, “This is not a food safety issue for our menu items… We can assure our customers that eggs in our entire supply chain meet McDonald’s high standards for quality and safety.”
A rep for Sparboe took ABC News on a tour of the Iowa facility that supplies the McDonald’s eggs and claims that the company has never had a single egg or chicken detected with salmonella and that “there was no cause for any enforcement action.”.