The Humane Society Of The United States (HSUS) announced that hotel chain leader Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, is moving to cage-free eggs across its room service and restaurant meals in all its full-service hotels in North America. Hyatt currently use 2.4 million whole eggs per year, which will now be exclusively cage-free.
“The Humane Society Of The United States applauds the company for tackling this important issue,” said Josh Balk, director of corporate policy for The HSUS’ factory farming campaign.
“Switching to exclusively cage-free shell eggs is an important step in our pursuit of creating a more humane food system, which also supports more sustainable and safer products,” said Susan Terry, vice president of culinary operations in North America for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts.
US. factory farms confine about 280 million birds per year in cages smaller than a sheet of paper, where they spend their entire lives unable to walk, nest, or spread their wings. Cage-free birds have marginally more space and are free to move around and lay eggs in nests, though being cage-free does not necessarily mean they have access to the outdoors.
A study by Technomic, a food industry and research and consulting company, showed awareness of animal welfare is becoming more prevalent among the American public. Restaurant patrons cited animal welfare as their third most important social issue. HSUS also reports that "a further study funded by The American Farm Bureau, 89 percent of Americans believed food companies that require their suppliers to treat their animals better, are ‘doing the right thing.’"
In addition to the issue of animal welfare, 16 different studies performed over the past 5 years have shown that caged birds have increased incidents of salmonella when compared to cage-free birds. The results of the studies were further reinforced by the recall of half a billion eggs, due to salmonella concerns in August of 2010.
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts have 131 full service hotels across the US, Canada, and the Caribbean including Hyatt, Andaz, Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency.
Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/hyatthotels