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originally posted by: Gothmog
In my opinion he should have been charged with murder one. He knowingly and willingly committed actions that led to the deaths of people. They should have given him 99 years and a day.
originally posted by: FamCore
a reply to: MisterSpock
I'm really surprised this was the outcome of it. Very nice to see some accountability - unfortunately it still won't bring those people back :/
Parnell’s now-bankrupt company, based in Virginia but with a production plant in Georgia, once touted its “remarkable food-safety record.” But in reality its own internal tests turned up salmonella contamination a half-dozen times in 2007 and 2008, according to investigators. Parnell approved shipments despite such warnings.
Investigators documented a litany of unsanitary conditions at the plant, including mold, roaches, dirty equipment, holes big enough to allow rodents inside and a failure to separate raw and cooked products. They also unearthed e-mails that showed Parnell hastily approving shipments he knew might be contaminated.
Parnell, 61, was found guilty of more than 70 felony counts in the tainted peanut butter case out of Blakely stemming from a salmonella outbreak traced to the plant in 2009.
Two more executives, Michael Parnell, 56, and quality control manager Mary Wilkerson, 41, were also sentenced Monday. Michael Parnell was sentenced to 20 years, and Wilkerson was sentenced to five years.
Two other former PCA workers, Samuel Lightsey and Daniel Kilgore, agreed to cooperate with the government and are to be sentenced separately at a later date.
“The evidence of his crimes is overwhelming. Stewart Parnell knew he had a problem and he knew about everything that went on in that plant,” Dasher said. “We presented email evidence from quality assurance as far back as 2003 that read ‘we have a cross contamination issue in the plant. When told of a rodent problem in the plant his response was to ‘clean (the peanuts) up and ship them.’
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspectors reported, following a two-week inspection of the Blakely, Georgia, plant in January 2009, that the company had information that its peanut-butter products were tainted with salmonella but shipped them anyway after "re-testing" them. This occurred at least 12 times in 2007 and 2008. FDA inspectors also found mold growing on the plant's ceiling and walls, foot-long gaps in its roof, dead insects near peanuts, and holes in the plant big enough for rodents to enter. Inspectors found that the company also did not clean its equipment after finding contamination, and did not properly segregate raw and finished products.
The company's plant in Plainview, Texas, which opened in March 2005 and employed 30 people, was never licensed in that state as a food manufacturing facility; the state had not done any inspections until the problems with the Georgia plant became news. The Texas plant blanched, dry- and oil-roasted, and chopped peanuts, then shipped them to food companies across the country. The Texas inspection in January 2009 found some unsanitary conditions, such as unclean sections of a peanut-roasting line. It also reported that several internal company laboratory tests dating back to November had found no salmonella or other contaminants. However, on February 10, 2009, company officials announced that the Texas plant has been shut down, after samples taken on February 4 tested positive for salmonella. Former workers at the Texas plant interviewed by the New York Times said that the facility was "disgusting". It said the plant shared many of the problems found in the plant in Georgia, including a badly leaking roof and rodent infestation. A former plant manager told Good Morning America that he had repeatedly complained to the company owner, Stewart Parnell, about unsanitary conditions, including "water leaking off a roof and bird feces washing in", but Parnell would not authorise money for necessary repairs.
The AP notes that going back as far as 2001, "about nine months after Parnell bought the Georgia plant in 2001, potential insecticide contamination and dead insects were found near peanuts inspected by the Food and Drug Administration." This was the beginning of a pattern of code violations, culminating in the inspection records released Friday by the FDA, showing that "in 2007 the company shipped chopped peanuts on July 18 and 24 after salmonella was confirmed by private lab tests."
originally posted by: Bobaganoosh
I've been in the peanut industry for nearly ten years. I am very glad to see this dude go to prison. His decision to be a douche and choose profit over common sense has made the lives of my coworkers and I a living hell.
We now must apply the principles of HACCP to a process that does not need it. His actions have added a mountain of paperwork to what was a simple process than never involved a kill step. Also, we are a raw processor. We have a third party accreditation that audits us like we are enriching uranium or some crap.
I hate this man. Good riddance to him. Thanks for screwing up an entire industry, and not just peanut butter manufacturers.
But just so you all know. Public outcry can accomplish new regulation, and increase accountability, but it is thrown like a wet blanket across an entire industry and not just the douche that screwed up. So yea, I'm happy to see this guy punished, but at great personal cost to myself.