Make Our Food Safe

"Egg Producer Says His Business Grew Too Quickly"

The New York Times | Gardiner Harris

"WASHINGTON — An Iowa egg producer at the center of a nationwide outbreak of salmonella apologized to a Congressional panel on Wednesday and acknowledged that his family operation had become 'big quite awhile before we stopped acting like we were small.'

'What I mean by that is, we were big before we started adopting sophisticated procedures to be sure we met all of the government requirements,' the egg producer, Austin J. DeCoster, said in testimony before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. He is the founder of an egg empire that has been linked over three decades to outbreaks of salmonella poisoning in many states, some leading to deaths.

'We were horrified to learn that our eggs may have made people sick,' Mr. DeCoster, who is known as Jack, said in a shaky voice. 'We apologize to everyone who may have been sickened by eating our eggs' ... "

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