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Scary Stuff

I wonder as chemicals/steroids get more and more used if this sort of thing will happen more often?

Why did IHOP buy from a bad egg?

The FDA has 20 investigators and an ongoing inquiry.

Preliminary indications are that there were mouse fecal droppings in the poultry feed which were ingested and thereby passed on to the eggs.

There is no basis whatsoever at this point for any assertion that this was due to steroids or any chemical substance.

The controlling person of the producer in question has a long history of sanitary violations, and an obvious question is what procedures IHOP had for auditing its vendor.

Re: Why did IHOP buy from a bad egg?

"an obvious question is what procedures IHOP had for auditing its vendor."

No it's not an obvious question at all, IHOP is neither the FDA nor the USDA.

Paul Steinberg's picture

Responsibility of franchisor for safety of retailed product

1st Rule of Hospitality: Don't Kill The Customer

The responsibility of a large chain food restaurant to monitor the safety of the supply chain may not be obvious to Guest, but it is obvious to those of us who have worked in the food industry.

An individual consumer who buys a dozen eggs does indeed rely on government to ensure the quality of the food supply. Food production is an inherently risky business which can kill people if done incorrectly. A century ago, The Jungle forever changed the way Americans buy meat, and that has reduced illness and saved lives.

Unlike "Guest" who goes to the local supermarket and buys a carton of eggs, a franchisor such as IHOP buys huge quantities of eggs. And there are food-safety protocols (most famously, HACCP) which are known to anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes in the food industry.

These concepts are not new--the origins of HACCP were in the Apollo program in the 1960s--and where there is a systemic failure as in the IHOP egg case there is a necessity to examine what went wrong and what corrective measures need to be implemented. Major franchisors such as McDonalds and Subway either conduct such audits or have their purchasing cooperatives conduct such audits.

In 1993, four children died and hundreds of people were sickened by contaminated meat served by Jack-In-The-Box. The publicity almost drove the chain out of business, cost the company a reupted $160 Million in lost business and more than $50 million in litigation payouts (not counting the legal fees themselves).

In the current scandal, the controlling person of the egg producer at issue is a man named Austin DeCoster. Media reports state that DeCoster has a long history of violations ranging from health and safety to animal cruelty. Such a history is precisely the type of thing which should have been uncovered by conducting background checks on the vendor and by audits of the paperwork and on-site audits of the production facilities.

So yes, it is an obvious question to ask of IHOP and the company would be well-advised to formulate a response before they have to answer that question in front of their franchisees... not to mention in front of a jury.