Quantcast

Feds indict 4 in peanut salmonella outbreak

By Kate Brumback

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Feb. 21 2013 8:48 p.m. MST

FILE -In this Jan. 29, 2009 file photo, an Early County, Ga. Sheriff's car sits parked in front of the the Peanut Corporation of America processing plant in Blakely, Ga. A federal grand jury indicted four employees of a peanut company, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, linked to a 2009 salmonella outbreak that killed nine people and sickened hundreds. The indictment was unsealed in federal court in Georgia and charges four employees with Virginia-based Peanut Corp. of America. (AP Photo/Ric Feld, File)

Associated Press

ATLANTA — A federal grand jury indicted four former employees of a peanut company linked to a 2009 salmonella outbreak that killed nine people and sickened hundreds, leading to one of the largest recalls in history.

The 76-count indictment was unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Georgia. It charged the former employees of Virginia-based Peanut Corp. of America with conspiracy, wire fraud and obstruction of justice. Named in the indictment were company owner Stewart Parnell, his brother and company vice president Michael Parnell, Georgia plant manager Samuel Lightsey and Georgia plant quality assurance manager Mary Wilkerson.

FDA inspectors found remarkably bad conditions inside Parnell's processing plant in Blakely, Ga., including mold and roaches, and the company went bankrupt after the recall.

"When those responsible for producing or supplying our food lie and cut corners, as alleged in the indictment, they put all of us at risk," Stuart F. Delery, who heads the Justice Department's Civil Division, said in a news release. "The Department of Justice will not hesitate to pursue any person whose criminal conduct risks the safety of Americans who have done nothing more than eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich."

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS