AP reports that an Iowa company has agreed to pay $6.8 million in fines for crimes that include selling the tainted eggs that caused a nationwide salmonella outbreak in 2010.
A plea agreement filed Monday by federal prosecutors calls for Quality Egg to plead guilty Tuesday to charges of bribery, selling misbranded eggs and introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.
The company is admitting that between 2006 and 2010, it intentionally sold eggs to customers in Arizona, California and elsewhere with false labels that disguised how old they were.
The company says its employees twice bribed a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector in 2010 to approve eggs that didn’t meet federal quality standards.
Company owners Austin and Peter DeCoster are expected to plead guilty Tuesday to introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Each faces a year in jail, five years of probation and $100,000 fine.
Reminds me of this post – “Will the Jensen Brothers, DeCoster and Parnell ever meet in the Big House?”
Bill Marler, an attorney who represents dozens of the salmonella victims, said the $6.8 million fine was “quite stunning” and the largest he’s heard of in 20 years of practicing food safety law. The fines and potential jail time send “a very strong message to companies that food safety is paramount,” he said.