Lawsuit settled over salmonella-tainted eggs from Iowa

A California food distributor with ties to a Petaluma egg processor has settled its lawsuit against the Iowa egg producers blamed for a 2010 salmonella outbreak.

NuCal Foods Inc., a Ripon-based cooperative of egg farmers, reached the settlement last week with Iowa producers Quality Egg and Hillandale Farm. The two sides ended three years of litigation in federal court in Sacramento that shed light on an outbreak which sickened an estimated 62,000 people nationwide.

Arnie Riebli, a partner in Petaluma's Sunrise Farms and a founding member in NuCal, declined comment on the settlement. So did a NuCal attorney, while lawyers for the two Iowa egg producers didn't return messages.

The Iowa producers issued recalls covering 550 million eggs in 2010, after scientists traced illnesses back to their farms.

NuCal sued the two companies and Quality Egg owner Jack DeCoster, contending they were aware their farms were contaminated with salmonella but continued marketing their eggs as safe.

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