Iowa egg farms settle suit over salmonella recalls

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa egg producers blamed for a 2010 salmonella outbreak have settled a lawsuit brought by a California cooperative that lost profits as a result of the product recalls.

Quality Egg and Hillandale Farms reached the settlement last week with NuCal Foods, Inc., to end three years of litigation in federal court in California. Financial terms weren’t released.

Quality Egg was owned by Jack DeCoster, who had a history of food safety, labor and environmental violations. Hillandale Farms received chickens and feed from DeCoster’s operations.

The companies issued recalls covering 550 million eggs in 2010. Thousands of customers were sickened by the outbreak.

NuCal contended the companies were aware their farms and chickens were contaminated with salmonella but kept selling tainted eggs anyway. Its attorney declined comment on the settlement.

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