Peanut Corporation of America Peanut Butter Salmonella OutbreakAt least 714 people became ill with Salmonella infections and 9 died after eating Salmonella-contaminated peanut products manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) and companies that used PCA peanut products as ingredients in 2008 and 2009.
The first peanut-related recalls were for the commercially-distributed peanut butter, but on January 16, 2009, Kellogg's issued a recall of products made with peanut paste, including cracker sandwiches and cookies.
On January 17, 2009, Bill Marler called on the FDA to take additional steps to hasten the removal of potentially contaminated products from the marketplace.
Shortly thereafter, the FDA recommended that consumers "postpone" consuming peanut butter products. Many companies issued peanut-product recalls. On January 28th, the Peanut Corporation of America initiated a recall of all products manufactured in its Blakely, GA plant since January, 2007. After Salmonella was found at PCA's Plainview, TX plant, production from that plant was added to the massive recall. More than 2800 products were recalled.
The Marler Clark law firm filed a total of 9 lawsuits on behalf of outbreak victims, and represented over 100 clients in Salmonella cases against PCA. Two families represented by Marler Clark testified in front of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation on February 11, 2009.
On February 13, PCA declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The lawsuits were finally resolved after multi-party complex litigation.
In a rare criminal action, the U.S. Justice Department announced on February 21, 2013 that PCA officials and a broker had been indicted for their actions before and during the PCA Salmonella outbreak. In a press release, the Justice Department stated:
The charging documents charge that Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, Lightsey and Kilgore participated in a scheme to manufacture and ship salmonella-contaminated peanuts and peanut products, and in so doing misled PCA customers. about the existence of foodborne pathogens, most notably salmonella, in the peanut products PCA sold to them. As the charging documents allege, the members of the conspiracy did so in several ways – for example, even when laboratory testing revealed the presence of salmonella in peanut products from the Blakely plant, Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, Lightsey and Kilgore failed to notify customers of the presence of salmonella in the products shipped to them.
“These indictments will have a far reaching impact on the food industry. Corporate executives and directors of food safety will need to think hard about the safety of their product when it enters the stream of commerce. Felony counts like this one are rare, but misdemeanor charges that can include fines AND jail time can and should happen.
- Son Files Salmonella Lawsuit After Mother's Death
- Law firm in PCA case donates $25,000 for scholarships at Heritage
- Oregon victims in peanut-related salmonella case will get payout
- Attorney: Mice, leaky roof and gaping holes found at Ga. plant linked to salmonella outbreak
- Peanut Corp. claims top $200 million
- Oregonians go to D.C. to push for food safety
- Lawyer in salmonella lawsuits tours Texas plant
- Lawyer says Plainview plant may not be at fault
- Minnesota Man's Family Files Suit In His Death
- PCA's Innocent Victims Go Beyond Consumers
- Peanut Corp. head questioned during hearing
- Washington man files suit vs. Kellogg, claiming salmonella poisoning
- FDA issues peanut safety guidelines for foodmakers
- Salmonella victim's mother calls for better investigations
- Laws to tackle tainted-food cases seem to lack much bite
- Suit claims Las Vegas girl, 2, ate contaminated peanut butter
- Belle Plaine family struck by salmonella files lawsuit
- Feds mount evidence in salmonella outbreak probe
- Troubled peanut firm has filed for bankruptcy
- Survey: Peanut Recall Known But Not Understood
- Peanut Corporation of America files for bankruptcy
- Couple to Sue Kellogg Company in Salmonella Outbreak
- Firm tied to salmonella ran unlicensed Texas plant
- Salmonella Outbreak: What You Need to Know
- New Look at Food Safety After Peanut Tainting
- Major Expansion Announced in Peanut Recall
- Lawyer, Industry Group Blast Company That Sold Tainted Peanut Products
- Peanut Plant Found Salmonella, Sold Products Anyway
- Salmonella in Peanut Butter - What Went Wrong
- Peanut Butter and Salmonella - the latest Sandwich
- Salmonella Source - South Georgia Peanut Butter Plant
- Vermont couple sues over salmonella outbreak
- FDA says to Skip Peanut Butter Products
- Peanut-Butter Probe Focuses on Georgia Plant
- Officials link Salmonella to Deaths in Virginia and Minnesota
- Salmonella Prompts Peanut Butter Recall