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Food Poisoning Can Lead to Criminal Charges

Companies are always looking for ways to save money, but there are no shortcuts in the food manufacturing industry. While the FDA has been stepping up efforts to curb food safety abuses by overseas manufacturers, the real game-changer has been the FBI: Farmers Eric and Ryan Jensen were sentenced in federal court for shipping listeria-contaminated cantaloupes that killed 33 people in 2011 and sickened many more. The FDA pursued and won federal misdemeanor charges against the Jensens.

The Parnell brothers and the Peanut Corporation of America did not get off so lightly. The FBI took up the case, skipping over simple food poisoning or manslaughter and going instead for felony charges of conspiracy and racketeering. Top dog Stewart Parnell was sentenced in 2015 to an unprecedented 28 years in prison and 3 years of supervised release — the largest criminal sentence to date in a food safety case.

Fortunately, callously profit-motivated businessmen like Parnell and the Jensens are the exception, not the rule, in U.S. food manufacturing. Food manufacturers live and die by their business, brand, and reputation; in our experience, they welcome better tools and more efficient QA processes.

When it comes to food safety testing, Priorclave has your back. We manufacture top notch, energy and water-efficient autoclaves that are perfect for sterilizing research tools and destroying lab waste. More importantly, we offer lifetime technical support, and are always eager to help our customers find the best practices for their processes.

[Photo credit: Dave Newman, CC BY 2.0]