Prosecutor: Peanut plant faked salmonella results

By Russ Bynum

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Aug. 1 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

ALBANY, Ga. — A federal prosecutor says a Georgia peanut plant linked to a deadly salmonella outbreak fabricated food-safety lab results sent to customers including food giant Kellogg's.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Dasher told jurors in an opening statement Friday that Peanut Corp. of America officers and managers shipped chopped nuts and peanut paste without waiting for microbiological testing, and sometimes faked lab certificates for customers requiring them. Dasher says customers weren't notified if the company later received positive tests for salmonella.

Defense attorneys were to address the jury in U.S. District Court later.

Peanut company owner Stewart Parnell; his brother and food broker, Michael Parnell; and plant quality control manager Mary Wilkerson are standing trial on 76 criminal counts.

Nine people died and more than 700 were sickened in the 2009 outbreak.

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