State authorities are investigating allegations of animal abuse at a Turner egg farm, while at the same time reassuring consumers that eggs from the facility pose no risk to human health.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry released a statement Wednesday saying it is conducting an investigation into a complaint filed by the Humane Society of the United States alleging that hens at Hillandale Farm in Turner are suffering in crowded, unclean cages. The Humane Society conducted an undercover investigation for one month at the egg farm, gathering evidence for its claim. Operators of the farm, part of the nation’s largest network of egg producers and distributors, responded to the allegations Tuesday by inviting the state to conduct an inspection to verify that the farm is run properly.

In the release, the state said it regularly inspects the farm, which is owned by Jack DeCoster and operated by Hillandale.

“State inspectors are routinely present at the site constantly monitoring and testing for any increased levels of disease pathogens,” said the release. “To date, our records are complete and do not show abnormal levels.”

The DACF said it has no evidence that would suggest the eggs coming from the facility are unsafe for human consumption. The department’s food safety surveillance reports are ongoing.

The Humane Society sent complaints to the Maine commissioner of agriculture, and to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, on June 2.

The Turner facility has decades of violations involving worker safety, health and environmental regulations. The egg operation was taken over by Hillandale in September.

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