The owner of a Spanish company linked to a large Listeria outbreak this past summer and his son have been provisionally released from custody.

The judge of a court in Seville agreed to the conditional release without bail of the pair that have been held since late September 2019. Both defendants are being investigated for their roles in the outbreak. The decision was taken after a request from the Prosecutor’s Office.

They are not allowed to quit the national territory and must hand in their passports to the police station nearest to where they live.

Once the state of alarm in the country is lifted, which was put in place due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, they must appear before the court every Monday of each month.

Decision criticized
FACUA-Consumers in Action said it would appeal the decision to free José Antonio Marín Ponce, the owner of Magrudis and his son Sandro José Marín Rodríguez.

The group criticized the timing of the release, as it is unknown when the state of alarm will end, and during this period the defendants will not have to appear to verify they have not absconded.

The outbreak from “La Mecha” brand chilled roasted pork produced by Magrudis affected more than 200 people, causing three deaths in elderly people and five pregnant women lost their babies. At the peak, 125 people were in the hospital. The listeriosis alert started in mid-August and ended by mid-October.

It was reported by Spanish authorities to the World Health Organization, via the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) in late August.

Nearly 700 professionals met in Seville in January to discuss Spain’s largest ever Listeria crisis at the International Symposium on the Andalusian Listeriosis outbreak.

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