Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Peanut Corporation of America

Stewart Parnell Could Be Sent to ‘Crown Jewel’ of the Federal Prison System


When Bernie Madoff of Ponzi scheme fame was sent to prison for life in 2009, he drew an assignment to the Butner Federal Correctional Complex about 45 minutes northeast of Durham, NC. At the time, the press called Butner the “crown jewel” of the federal prison system. Judge W. Louis Sands, who sentenced Stewart Parnell to… Continue Reading

Last Two PCA Sentences Are In: Kilgore Gets 6 Years; Lightsey, 3


The final two sentences have been handed down in the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) criminal case. Former plant managers Samuel Lightsey and Daniel Kilgore were sentenced on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, to three and six years in federal prison, respectively, by U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands. Both Lightsey and Kilgore became government… Continue Reading

Last Two PCA Defendants to be Sentenced Tomorrow in Georgia


Sentencing hearings scheduled in federal court tomorrow in Albany, GA, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET will all but conclude the trial court’s work in the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) criminal case. To be sentenced on Thursday are the two PCA managers at Blakely, GA, who made deals with the government to become… Continue Reading

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It


In case you missed it, here are some of the top food safety stories from last week: PCA Sentencing: Stewart Parnell, former CEO of the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), was sentenced to 28 years in prison on Sept. 21. His peanut-broker brother, Michael Parnell, got 20 years, and former PCA Quality Assurance Manager Mary… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Parnell Crossed a Long-Existing Line



Since the sentencing of the Peanut Corporation of America criminal cases, some may be wondering if anything has really changed. The longest prison sentences ever handed out for food safety violations would, on the surface, appear to be a new bright line for food manufacturers. But, on closer look, maybe not. Food manufacturers have long… Continue Reading

Praise for an Unlikely ‘Whistleblower’


PCA plant in Plainview, TX

Kenneth Kendrick, missing Monday from the federal courthouse in Albany, GA, did not hear the praise that came from a witness during a pivotal day in the world of food safety. Kendrick is a former assistant plant manager of the Plainview, Texas, peanut processing facility once owned by the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America (PCA)…. Continue Reading

Judge Rejects Motions From PCA Defendants for Release Pending Their Appeals


Motions by Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, and Mary Wilkerson to be released from their prison terms while they appeal their convictions and sentences have all been denied by U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands. On Monday, Sept. 21, Sands sentenced 61-year-old Stewart Parnell, former chief executive officer of the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), to… Continue Reading

Guilty Verdict Puts Food Safety Responsibility Where It Belongs


Inspection at bottling plant

Guilty! The perpetrator of the 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak, Stewart Parnell of the Peanut Corporation of America, just received a 28-year sentence for knowingly distributing Salmonella-containing peanuts. The familiar refrain will be that this is evidence that our food safety system is broken. But those who believe that the response in 2010, the Food Safety Modernization… Continue Reading

Bearing Witness to Justice at the PCA Sentencing



Audiences at my lectures are often surprised that, after the death of my 16-month-old son, Riley, during the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak, no state or federal agency filed criminal charges against anyone involved in that easily-preventable tragedy. For the past 22 years since Riley’s death, I viewed the American justice system… Continue Reading

Wilkerson Awaits ‘Voluntary Surrender,’ Lists Appeal Grounds


One of the three defendants sentenced Monday in the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) criminal case remains free. Mary Wilkerson, who was sentenced to five years of imprisonment after her jury conviction for obstruction of justice, remains free on a $25,000 bond. That’s until she is assigned to a prison facility by the Bureau of… Continue Reading