Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

PCA criminal case

Appellate mandate ends biggest food safety criminal case in history

It’s over. After 1,952 days in federal trial and appellate courts, the case of the United States versus Stewart and Michael Parnell et al is no longer active. It became history Wednesday when David J. Smith, Clerk of Court for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, entered as the mandate or final… Continue Reading

Peanut butter defendants get more time to file for rehearing

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has approved a motion giving more time for the Peanut Corporation of America criminal defendants to file petitions for rehearing and rehearing en banc. The new deadline for the filings is March 13. The circuit court on Jan. 23 upheld all of the district court’s decisions… Continue Reading

Top food safety stories include regs, recalls, respects this year

Editor’s Note:  The Food Safety News list of the year’s most significant news is compiled annually by our writers and editors. The list for 2017 is not led by any one or two blockbuster food safety stories, but it also won’t be quickly forgotten. It was a year when there was finally a climax to… Continue Reading

PCA appeal could impact future food safety prosecutions

The trial judge is as much on trial as the criminal defendants during an appeal, and a 97-minute session Tuesday in a federal appeals court in Atlanta was an illustration of how that system works. It came during oral arguments in the case of United States v. Michael Parnell, Mary Wilkerson and Stewart Parnell before a… Continue Reading

Appellate judges won’t release Wilkerson while awaiting appeal

The extended visiting hours for Memorial Day weekend at Federal Correction Institution (FCI) Marianna probably won’t be much consolidation for 43-year-old Mary Wilkerson, who was denied in her second request for release on bail. She remains incarcerated at the western Florida panhandle federal prison. It’s about an hour from Wilkerson’s home in South Georgia. Circuit Judges… Continue Reading

‘Fry them’ comments in jury room could get Parnells a new trial

Defense lawyers for executives in peanut butter Salmonella trial say jurors had loose lips

The conduct of the 2014 jury that convicted Peanut Corporation of America executives delayed sentencing for about year, but in its final analysis the district court found a new trial based on jury misconduct was not warranted. Appellate attorneys for peanut broker Michael Parnell filed lengthy after-hours arguments Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals… Continue Reading

First of PCA convicted executives begins prison release process

Samuel Lightsey, 52, the former manager of the now defunct Peanut Corporation of America processing plant in Blakely, GA, has moved into a Residential Re-entry Management facility in Atlanta a step toward his release from federal prison scheduled for Oct. 1. Lightsey received the lightest prison sentence among the five eanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives and managers… Continue Reading

Government responds to defense issues in PCA appeal

Prosecution and defense attorneys in the Peanut Corporation of America criminal case have found something they can agree upon. Both sides now say the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta needs to hear oral arguments before deciding if the District Court made any errors that should result in reversing the verdicts and/or the… Continue Reading