McDonald’s fires major egg supplier
McDonald’s has fired Minnesota based Sparboe Farms, which provided all eggs for sandwiches in stores west of the Mississippi River that come with muffins (the biscuits, bagels, and McGriddles use an egg product that pours from a box, the muffins use real eggs).
McDonald’s announced the change after Mercy for Animals produced a report ABC News that showed widespread abuse of chickens at Sparboe Farms facilities. The video shows
- Hens stuffed in dirty cages with only enough living space that would cover a normal piece of printer paper
- Workers burning off the beaks of chicks and throwing them into cages
- Workers grabbing hens by their throats and ramming them into battery cages
- Dead and decomposed birds left in cages with other hens still laying eggs
- Chicks trapped and mangled in cage wire with others suffering from open wounds and torn beaks
- Live chicks thrown into plastic bags to be suffocated
In addition to animal cruelty Sparboe Farms was also caught with serious violations related to salmonella after five visits from FDA officials, however McDonald’s insists that the facilities with salmonella outbreaks are not ones that provided eggs to the fast food giant, and that the McDonald’s cooking procedures would have killed any salmonella in the event it came from a different facility.
Chicken farms are frequent targets of animal rights groups and the Mercy for Animals organization seems to be pitching this story as “McDonald’s Cruelty.” The problem is that it seems like as soon as McDonald’s became aware of the problem they acted swiftly and cut all ties with Sparboe Farms. Additionally other major coporations such as Target were also customers of Sparboe Farms that ceased all agreements after seeing this video. It’s unrealistic to ask McDonald’s to police every aspect of every suppier they work with, however when Mercy for Animals did the undercover work to expose these abuses it seems the major coporations took this very seriously and acted appropriately.
Sparboe Farms responded to the video and FDA reports by saying “I was deeply saddened to see the story because this isn’t who Sparboe Farms is. Acts depicted in the footage are totally unacceptable and completely at odds with our values as egg farmers. In fact, they are in direct violation of our animal care code of conduct, which all of our employees read, sign and follow each day.”