This piece of news is a little difficult to swallow (pun intended). I just don’t think that we should depend on the good nature of major companies, as they have proven time and time again that profit is more important to them than anything else, including food safety.
Jurors at the nation’s first federal criminal trial stemming from a deadly outbreak of food-borne illness are learning a disconcerting fact: America’s food safety largely depends on the honor system.
Witnesses say Stewart Parnell and others at Peanut Corporation of America knowingly shipped salmonella-tainted products, and that they sent customers lab results from other clean batches rather than wait for tests to confirm their products were free of deadly bacteria.
Defense lawyers correctly noted for the jurors that salmonella tests aren’t even required by federal law.
Parnell and his two co-defendants face long prison sentences if convicted of knowingly shipping the contaminated peanut products linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak that killed nine people and sickened 714 across 43 states in 2008 and 2009. (more…)