Feds Find Filth, Salmonella Risk at Egg Factory Holding 1M Hens

Gov't Warning Notes Flies 'Too Numerous to Count' and Inadequate Egg Refrigeration; PETA Says Only Safe Egg Is No Egg at All

For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2020

Contact:
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Finlayson, Minn. – PETA has just sent a letter calling on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to investigate Luoma Egg Ranch, Inc.—which keeps up to nearly a million hens in 16 sheds—after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the massive egg operation about “serious” and “significant” violations of federal egg-safety regulations. The hens’ welfare is of great concern because of the filthy, crowded conditions, and so is consumer health.

According to the recently obtained FDA report, agency inspectors found that farm staff failed to test hens in at least two sheds for Salmonella enterica, a dangerous bacteria that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps, chronic arthritis, and even death in humans who ingest it. When chickens carry the bacteria, it can contaminate the inside of their eggs—and it can contaminate eggshells when eggs roll in hens’ feces, as is common on massive factory farms like Luoma. Inspectors also saw flies “too numerous to count,” trash stored in a cooler, eggs inadequately refrigerated, and other violations. The FDA concluded that eggs from Luoma may have been contaminated and “rendered injurious to health.”

“This massive egg factory’s innumerable flies, trash-filled cooler, and risk of salmonella should frighten any reasonable person away from eating eggs,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA encourages everyone to spare hens a lifetime of misery and protect their own health by going vegan.”

In 2014, Minnesota officials fined Luoma $95,000 after it reportedly discharged manure into nearby streams and improperly disposed of dead chickens. In 2011, the FDA warned Luoma after finding bird droppings—which did not appear to be chicken manure—in one of its sheds and finding that the farm’s salmonella-testing records were inadequate.

In the U.S., egg farms cram hundreds of millions of hens into wire-floored cages, each bird with less living space than a sheet of paper, for up to two years. A recent PETA video exposé of a massive egg farm revealed that many hens died after becoming trapped by a leg, a wing, or their head in the wire mesh flooring of filthy cages. Those whose egg production had waned were stuffed by workers into metal boxes and crudely gassed with carbon dioxide, which is extremely painful.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and the group’s letter to state officials is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind