Peanut Exec Who Intentionally Sold Salmonella-Tainted Peanuts Recommended for Life In Prison
Stewart Parnell, the former owner of Peanut Corporation of America, who knowingly sold truckloads of salmonella-tainted peanut butter that resulted in nine deaths and 700 illnesses. (Photo: Getty Images)
Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of life in prison for a peanut executive convicted in a deadly salmonella-poisoning case.
Stewart Parnell, the former owner of Peanut Corporation of America, was convicted last September of knowingly selling truckloads of peanut butter contaminated with salmonella from his plant in Georgia to food processors.
The recommendation for his sentencing, which a lawyer for one of the victims called “unprecedented,” was revealed on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.
The contaminated peanut butter caused a salmonella outbreak that spanned 46 states and lasted from 2008 to 2009, sparking a massive recall by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It killed nine people and left more than 700 ill.
After a seven-week trial, Parnell and his brother, food broker Michael Parnell, were both charged with 76 federal counts linked to intentionally shipping peanut products that tested positive for salmonella, CNN reports….
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MY COMMENT: According to this article, quoting the Center for Disease Control, there are an estimated 1,000,000,000 salmonella cases, 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths each year in the USA.
Salmonella is commonly found in raw animal products – eggs, meat and unpasteurized dairy, and some plant foods, including peanuts.
The animal-abusing industries leave it up to the consumer to cook their own salmonella out of their animal products, because they choose/want to sell their animal products raw.
Because peanut butter is already processed, meaning ready to eat, people consuming peanut butter containing salmonella get sick and some die. Most people don’t refrigerate peanut butter (except me) and most people don’t cook with it (except me). But I also eat it right out of the jar.
The meat, dairy and egg industries all know before they sell their product, that chances are a lot of it contains some level of salmonella. It’s like a crap shoot – maybe yes, maybe know. Nobody tests every animal or every egg or the milk coming out of the cow. So they knowingly expose the public to salmonella.
Obviously, leaving it up to the consumer to cook thoroughly the animal products isn’t working, otherwise there wouldn’t be 1,000,000,000 cases of salmonella yearly. So where’s the liability here? Nobody tells the restaurants to serve only hard-cooked eggs. Nobody outlaws the sale of unpasteurized milk. Nobody demands that restaurants serve only well-done meats. Laws imposing those restrictions would hurt the profit/loss margins of all the animal-abusing industries.
There seems to be a double standard here. Of course this peanut executive went too far, the first time he went to far, thinking more about his profit/loss margin than selling a healthy product.
But so do the sellers of raw food known to have salmonella contaminants in it. You can’t just say it’s up to the consumer and up to the restaurants to do the right thing – not where public health and safety are concerned.
All food needs to be free of toxins, contaminants, poisons, bacteria and viruses… that pose an elevated health risk to the public.
Consumers assume that if they buy a product at a store or restaurant, that it is not going to make them sick, or worse, kill them – as long as it isn’t out-dated. That’s the public trust. That trust needs to be respected.
One million cases a year is a lot of salmonella. It’s an epidemic.
We, as a nation, need to rethink what we sell, how we sell it, what we should and should not be consuming. Governments are involved in the animal-abusing industries. They make the laws that give these industries a free pass to do whatever they want to do – always placing the liability on the backs of the consumers. That needs to change.