Food Business News - October 7, 2014 - (Page 30)

Guilty verdicts in Peanut Corporation of America trial ALBANY, GA. - A federal jury found two former executives of the Peanut Corporation of America (P.C.A.) and a broker the company worked with guilty on Sept. 19 of actions that led to a massive Salmonella outbreak in 2009 that resulted in nine deaths, sickened more than 700, led to one of the largest recalls ever and involved dozens of food manufacturers that were customers of the company. Stewart Parnell, president and chief executive officer of the former company, and Michael Parnell, Stewart's brother and a broker at the time of the outbreak, were convicted of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and the introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce. Stewart Parnell also was convicted of the introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce. Stewart Parnell and Mary Wilkerson, former quality control manager at the company's plant in Blakely, Ga., also were convicted of obstruction of justice. The verdicts followed a seven-week trial in the Middle District of Georgia during which prosecutors presented the testimony of 45 witnesses. Among those who testified were Samuel Lightsey and Daniel Kilgore, both former operations managers for P.C.A. and both of whom earlier pleaded guilty to several crimes for their roles in the sale of the Salmonella-tainted food by P.C.A. The government presented evidence at trial to establish that Stewart Parnell and Michael Parnell, with Mr. Lightsey and Mr. Kilgore, participated in several schemes by which they defrauded P.C.A. customers and jeopardized the quality of the peanut products they manufactured. Specifically, the government showed that the defendants misled customers about the presence of Salmonella in the products. For example, Stewart and Michael Parnell, Mr. Lightsey and Mr. Kilgore fabricated certificates of analysis accompanying various shipments of peanut products that showed the food was pathogen free when in fact there had been no testing or tests had revealed the presence of pathogens. The government also showed that when Food and Drug Administration inspectors visited the plant to investigate the outbreak, Stewart Parnell, Mr. Lightsey and Ms. Wilkerson gave false or misleading answers to questions posed by the officials. "We are gratified by the jury's verdict," said Joyce R. Branda, acting assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice's Civil Division. "The jury delivered a powerful message that there will be serious consequences for criminals who put profit above the welfare of their customers and knowingly sell contaminated food. The Department of Justice will not hesitate to pursue any person whose criminal conduct risks the health of Americans and the safety of the nation's food supply." Stewart Parnell was convicted on more than 70 felony counts; Michael Parnell was convicted on more than 30 felony counts; and Ms. Wilkerson was convicted on one count of obstruction of justice. The scope of the P.C.A. outbreak and recall were unprecedented for a number of reasons. On Jan. 18, 2009, the F.D.A. took the extraordinary step of recommending consumers "postpone eating commercially-prepared or manufactured peanut butter-containing products and institutionally-served peanut butter until further information becomes available about which products may be affected." By Monday, Jan. 19, the F.D.A. had amended its recommendation and was telling consumers that if they had concerns about peanut buttercontaining products in their possession, they could use a searchable database created by the agency to learn if the products had been recalled. The P.C.A. shipped contaminated peanut paste to food manufacturers to be used as an ingredient in peanut butter flavored products. As a result, many companies, including Kellogg Co., General Mills, Clif Bar, Abbott Nutrition, Nature's Path, etc., were forced to initiate recalls. In the end, more than 2,000 varieties of products possibly containing ingredients supplied by P.C.A. were recalled, making it one of the largest U.S. food recalls ever. FBN Keep your mouth ringing with Bell's hottest flavors. Get in touch with taste. 30 FOODBUSINESS NEWS October 7, Bell Flavors and Fragrances, Inc. | | 800-323-4387 | info@bellff.com2014 ®

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - October 7, 2014

Food Business News - October 7, 2014
General Mills to eliminate more jobs
Sugar prices remain high amid Mexican trade dispute
Dairy Business News - Increasing ice cream sales
Table of Contents
Web Contents
Editorial - Putting millennials in perspective
Mondelez to build biscuit plant in Bahrain
ADM forming new ingredients unit after Wild acquisition
Hershey acquires Chinese confectionery company
Sabra Dipping Co. names new c.e.o.
Restaurant index rises for first time in three months
Snack preferences differ between millennials and boomers
F.D.A. issues ‘food safety challenge’
Kontos Foods expands to Caribbean
Snatching share in the snack market
Starbucks acquiring full control of Japan business
JAB Holding to acquire Einstein Noah Restaurant
Seaboard sells stake in Daily’s Premium Meats
Diamond still in the rough
Chiquita to get larger share of company in revised Fyffes deal
Coke sees $300 billion international opportunity
Small victories add up for ConAgra Foods
Carbonated waters: Tiny bubbles, big splash
Guilty verdicts in Peanut Corporation of America trial
Washington - F.D.A. revises four proposed food safety rules
Flavor Trends - Sophisticated heat
Ingredient Innovations - Spreading and staying stable
Buzz around sustainable palm oil grows louder
The scoop on Baskin-Robbins’ return to growth
New Food Products
Ingredient Market Trends - U.S.D.A. estimates U.S. wheat crop at 2,035 million bus
Ingredient Markets
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index
Food Business in the News

Food Business News - October 7, 2014