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Food Safety News

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Wright County Egg

DeCosters Cite 2010 Performance to Help Keep Them Out of Jail

As part of a campaign to keep their clients from serving any prison time, appellate attorneys for Austin (“Jack”) and Peter DeCoster are depicting the roles the former egg producers played in the 2010 Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak as marked by corporate responsibility and cooperation. The picture being painted stands in sharp contrast with the media… Continue Reading

DeCosters Will Face Victims and Possible Jail Time at Sentencing

His sentencing in two weeks in a federal courtroom in Sioux City, IA, won’t be the first time that Austin “Jack” DeCoster has had to pay up for his legal misdeeds. DeCoster has paid millions in fines before, but in two weeks, the 79-year-old DeCoster and his 51-year-old son, Peter DeCoster, will face both possible… Continue Reading

DeCoster Defense Team Says Jail for Their Clients Is Not an Option

In his many high-profile run-ins with government officials over labor and environmental controversies, the now-71-year-old Austin “Jack” DeCoster got used to people wanting to see him jail. But it never happened, and his lawyers now say neither DeCoster nor his son Peter can be sentenced to jail for their involvement in the 2010 food safety… Continue Reading

Government Says Salmonella Controls DeCoster Practiced in Maine Were Not Followed in Iowa

When 550 million shell eggs were recalled from two Iowa farms in 2010 as the nation experienced an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE), Austin “Jack” DeCoster owned or controlled the largest egg production conglomerate in the U.S. Government attorneys say he knew more than he’s let on about controlling the pathogen, and they plan to… Continue Reading

FDA’s Power to Prosecute

What authority does the agency have in the wake of an outbreak?

More than a year after the deadly Listeria outbreak that stemmed from Jensen Farms’ cantaloupes was first detected, criminal charges have yet to be filed against the company, but the Food and Drug Administration’s website says its outbreak investigation is still open. FDA’s report was last updated on January 8, 2012 with information provided by the Centers… Continue Reading

Employee of Egg Farm Linked to 2010 Salmonella Outbreak Tried to Bribe USDA Inspector

Former manager to plead guilty in Northern Iowa District Court

A former manager at the Iowa farm responsible for the largest egg recall in history and the 2010 Salmonella outbreak that sickened nearly 2,000 people will plead guilty to conspiring to bribe a federal inspector to overlook health violations at the facility. Tony Wasmund, former employee of Wright County Egg — one of the two… Continue Reading

DeCoster Knew About Contamination for Months Before Recall

Iowa State University’s government-funded Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory knew that laying eggs produced by DeCoster Farms were likely contaminated with Salmonella months before more than half a billion eggs from its facility were recalled two years ago. ISU’s lab, employing 125 people with a $3.2 million budget funded annually by Iowa taxpayers, provided “third-party quality assured… Continue Reading

Settlements for Children Injured in Egg Outbreak

The requirement that lawsuit settlements reached on behalf of children go back to federal court for approval is giving the public an early look at what last year’s nationwide Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak may eventually cost egg baron Jack DeCoster’s insurer. The 2010 SE outbreak sickened at least 1,939 people and led to the recall of… Continue Reading