ConAgra Pleads Guilty to Salmonella Outbreak, Agrees to Pay $11.2M
On May 20, 2015 ConAgra Foods Inc. plead guilty to distributing adulterated food products in the United States, a violation of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). Peter Pan peanut butter products manufactured at ConAgra’s facility in Sylvester, Georgia were found to be associated with a 2006 Salmonella poisoning outbreak that affected 44 states and at least 700 consumers. ConAgra identified various facility maintenance issues as potential causes of the peanut butter’s Salmonella contamination, including:
- An old peanut roaster
- A storm-damaged sugar silo
- A leaky roof
ConAgra became aware of these risks in 2004 but did not fully correct the conditions until the outbreak occurred. ConAgra will pay $11.2 million dollars: a criminal fine of $8 million and $3.2 million in forfeiture. According to Food Safety News, the incident has already cost ConAgra around $275 million in fees from payments to victims, upgrading its Sylvester plant, and improving the company’s food safety practices.
ConAgra’s case is a good example of the potential outcome of noncompliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food safety regulations. Not only can it lead to immense expenses, but it can damage a company’s reputation. Registrar Corp offers a variety of food safety services to assist food facilities with FDA regulation compliance. Registrar Corp Food Safety Specialists can help companies develop or review a Food Safety Plan to identify and prevent potential risks and can conduct a mock facility inspection to help identify food safety issues and prepare for an FDA inspection.
For more information about FDA food safety regulations or Registrar Corp’s services, contact +1-757-224-0177 or Live Help is available 24 hours a day at www.registrarcorp.com/livehelp.