A federal judge is scheduled to confer with attorneys representing the Justice Department and ConAgra Grocery Products Co. on Thursday to discuss victim restitution and the sentencing date in a case related to a 2006-07 Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter. peterpan_406x250U.S. District Court Judge Louis J. Sands set the telephone conference after attorneys for the government and ConAgra notified him that they were ready to proceed to the final stage of the case. Almost 200 victims of the Salmonella Tennessee outbreak are seeking restitution. The 44-state outbreak sickened at least 425 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two brands of peanut butter produced by ConAgra — Peter Pan and Great Value, which is a Wal-Mart private label — were linked to the outbreak. On May 20, 2015, the government charged ConAgra with one misdemeanor count of violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The Justice Department and the company filed a signed plea agreement with the court, with ConAgra agreeing to plead guilty. “Both the government and counsel for the defendant are in the process of reviewing and evaluating the statements and supporting documents submitted by potential victims, including those submitted on June 8,” said Graham A. Thorpe, assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, in the latest status report. The parties completed the review and provided an assessment July 29, requesting the judge to set a scheduling conference to wrap up the final phase of the court action. Under the plea bargain, ConAgra has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to the misdemeanor and pay a fine of $8.01 million and forfeitures of $3.2 million, in addition to any restitution ordered by the court. The agreement does not include any probationary period for the company, largely because it has been operating the Sylvester, GA, peanut butter plant for almost a decade since the outbreak without problems. ConAgra will be required to report on the anniversary date of the executed agreement with written confirmation that its food safety and quality program are being followed. Multiple failures are believed to have contributed to the contamination of Peter Pan and Great Value branded peanut butter. An older peanut roaster was not sufficiently heating raw peanuts, a sugar silo was storm-damaged, and birds and bees were taking advantage of a leaky roof.