- A federal jury has found three people guilty on felony charges in connection with an outbreak of salmonella nearly six years ago in which nine people died.
- Stewart Parnell, the owner of bankrupt Peanut Corporation of America, and his brother Michael, were found guilty of multiple counts of conspiracy and fraud for deliberately and knowingly selling food that contained the deadly bacteria. A third executive, quality assurance manager Mary Wilkerson, was found guilty of obstruction.
- The verdict marks the first successful prosecution of executives charged with a federal felony in a food safety case.
Much of the food industry and the legal establishment have watched this trial closely during the past seven weeks, listening to testimony in which witnesses told a tale of executives who knowingly shipped salmonella-tainted food rather than take a loss.
Now, after a seven-week trial, the presentation of 1,000 documents from the prosecution, and testimony from 45 witnesses, the verdict is in: "guilty."
It seems unlikely that this case will spark drastic change in the industry though. This wasn't a case about the sort of things that companies can correct by adding safety standards, or more closely documenting the supply chain.