- The U.S. Dept. of Justice has officially warned food companies of the civil and criminal charges they could face if their food is tainted with harmful pathogens that make people sick.
- According to Associated Press, "After years of relative inactivity, the administration has stepped up criminal enforcement on safety cases. In the most high-profile case, a federal court in Georgia last year found an executive for the Peanut Corporation of America guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, wire fraud and other crimes after his company shipped out salmonella-tainted peanuts that sickened more than 700 and killed nine in 2008 and 2009."
- "We have made a priority holding individuals and companies responsible when they fail to live up to their obligations that they have to protect the safety of the food that all of us eat," associate attorney General Stuart Delery said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Whether it means adopting better food safety technologies or reforming methods on the production floor, the food industry has been put on alert.
One major question is whether Blue Bell will face charges after an FDA report said that the company knew about the listeria contamination two years before reporting it and performing a full product recall. Blue Bell is in the process of moving forward with beginning test production at its Alabama facility, so it's unclear whether these charges will come later or not.