Two former executives of Quality Egg in Iowa, Austin "Jack" DeCoster and son Peter DeCoster, were prosecuted and sentenced to jail on Monday for their failure to protect against salmonella in their egg company. In 2010, 500 million eggs were recalled due to a salmonella outbreak that was in large part due to the improper food safety procedures used at the Quality Egg company. Prosecutors argued that the DeCosters knew their facility was at risk for salmonella, and also authorized shipment of eggs with false processing and expiration dates across state lines. Workers also bribed an inspector at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve sales of poor-quality eggs. Both defendants pled guilty to the charges and paid $100,000 each, in addition to the company paying a $6.8 million fine. The federal sentence is for 3 months of jail time each, but they will not be in jail pending their individual appeals. Prosecutors and government officials hope that sentences like these will bring attention to the need for food producers to strictly follow food safety protocol.
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