In Egg Industry Magazine’s annual list of the “Top 60” egg producers, the West Mansfield, OH-based Nature Pure was not the biggest.

It was the smallest with 200,000 laying hens, but it has come in for an early inspection under the new shell egg regulations that went into effect last summer.

Ohio is the nation’s second-largest shell-egg producing state, so it was certain to come it for attention as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration goes about its enforcement duties.

Nature Pure was the subject of an inspection last Feb. 7 to 16, and FDA collected environmental samples from three of the four active egg-layer houses.  “All three of the environmental samples taken by FDA were subsequently found positive for Salmonella Enteritidis (SE), the agency said in a May 27 warning letter to the egg producer.

The warning letter said that after Nature Pure was informed of the positive tests for SE, FDA inspectors returned for a re-inspection from Feb. 28 to March 2.  They found the facility continued to be in violation of the new shell egg regulation for prevention of SE.

The FDA inspectors therefore found Nature Pure’s eggs to be adulterated under federal laws and regulations, including the shell egg regulation.  

The violations FDA said it found include:

  • Not maintaining any documentation for the egg-sampling program, which claimed to be checking 1,080 eggs from each production house for SE.

  • Failure to test the pullet environment for SE.

  • A written SE prevention plan that lacked cleaning and disinfection producers.

  • A prevention plan that does not include monitoring for flies.  The egg producer said it planned to have a program for fly monitoring in place by April 15.

FDA said it also was concerned about the method Nature Pure is using to detect SE in environmental samples. It has asked the company for additional documentation.

Late last summer — shortly after the new egg  rule took effect — an SE outbreak at two Iowa egg production facilities led to the largest shell egg recall in U.S. history — -more than half a billion eggs.

Both of those Iowa facilities were owned or affiliated with DeCoster Egg Farms, the nation’s third-largest egg producer with 13 to 15 million laying hens.  Egg Industry Magazine notes that the ownership of DeCoster affiliates “is not transparent.”

The magazine’s rankings were published in January.

  • dangermaus

    People react strongly to this kind of story, but never seem wonder about how it’s possible that they’re getting their eggs for $.89 a dozen.
    These super-giant production houses wouldn’t have such an advantage without the federal grain subsidies that allow the egg farmers to buy corn for less than what the corn grower sells it for. Without those subsidies, there might be fewer of them, or they might be smaller.

  • Doc Mudd

    There are “subsidies that allow the egg farmers to buy corn for less than what the corn grower sells it for”? Really??
    Please do explain and link us a URL to those nifty subsidy programs, dangermaus. I have an acquaintance who must be unaware of this remarkable news – gotta get ’em signed up and cashing in on your exceptional knowledge of agricultural business & finance.
    Thanks in advance, dangermaus, for sharing the specifics on this fine piece of work you’ve created!!
    [Frankly, I think you’re full of poop on this one, but we shall see]

  • Minkpuppy

    Heck, I want to know where dangermaus is getting eggs for 89 cents/dz! Not even Wally World around here has them that cheap.