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Peanut Corporation of America Jailed for Salmonella Outbreak

Posted on in Food Poisoning
Peanut Corporation of America Jailed for Salmonella Outbreak

Stewart Parnell, former owner of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) was sentenced to 28 years in prison for knowingly shipping peanut products contaminated with salmonella in 2007. The outbreak that ensued caused nine deaths and more than 700 illnesses. Alongside Stewart Parnell, his brother, food broker Michael Parnell received a 20-year prison sentence. Mary Wilkerson, the PCA plant's quality assurance manager, was sentenced to five years in prison. “Just ship it,” Parnell wrote in a 2007 email to a plant manager after being notified of the contamination in the latest batch of peanut products.

Food safety activists are hailing this ruling as a step toward a safer, more transparent food industry for America. We still have a long way to go in containing salmonella and other dangerous bacteria in foods. If you have been affected by salmonella or another type of food-borne illness, seek medical care for your condition. Then, contact an experienced food poisoning attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a personal injury claim against the party responsible for your illness. This party could be the food product's manufacturer, supplier, distributor, or retailer. In some cases, the fault could potentially fall on more than one of these parties.

America's Most Common Food-borne Illness

Salmonella is the most common type of food-borne illness in America, affecting up to 1.4 million people every year. This is because it is not only one type of bacteria – it is a group name that refers to multiple types of bacteria. The illness caused by a salmonella infection is called salmonellosis.

Salmonella can be particularly dangerous to consumers because food contaminated with the bacteria often appears and smells normal. Eggs, beef, poultry, and vegetables can easily be infected with the bacteria upon coming into contact with it.

Salmonella can be spread by contact with a contaminated piece of food, contact with an animal carrying the bacteria such as a rodent or small reptile, or contact with the fecal matter of an infected animal or human. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling any type of animal and before preparing food. Wash your hands between the preparation of different types of food to prevent cross-contamination, and always wash utensils used to prepare raw meat thoroughly before using them to prepare other types of food.

Food Poisoning Attorneys in Illinois

Salmonellosis can harm or even kill a victim. Despite taking the proper safety precautions listed above, it is possible to become infected with salmonella by eating a seemingly safe piece of food. If this happens, know that you have the right to file a personal injury claim to seek monetary compensation for your damages. To learn more about this process, contact the Law Offices of Newland & Newland, LLP to schedule your free legal consultation with us. Our team of food poisoning attorneys has more than 20 years of experience handling this type of case and will provide you with the driven, compassionate guidance and representation you need.

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