Egg Executives Sentenced To Three Months In Jail For Role In 2010 Salmonella Outbreak

Last year, an Iowa egg company linked to a 2010 salmonella recall that sickened more than tens of thousands of people agreed to fork over $6.8 million in fines for shipping old eggs under false labels. Now, two former executives at Quality Egg have been sentenced to three months in prison, after facing up to a year for the parts they played in the outbreak.

Austin “Jack” DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster were looking at a much longer sentence on charges of shipping adulterated food after pleading guilty last June, reports the Des Moines Register, and will now stay free a bit longer as they appeal the three-month sentence.

Though they didn’t want to go to jail at all — naturally — U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett seemed to side with prosecutors who said a tough punishment was necessary because of how far flung the outbreak was. Officially, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control linked 1,939 illnesses to the outbreak, but officials say up to 56,000 people could’ve been sickened.

Investigators think the DeCosters knew their egg operations were susceptible to salmonella contamination before the outbreak began.

Quality Egg has fessed up to having workers knowingly ship eggs with fake processing and expiration dates to slip them bast state regulators, and in turn, trick customers into thinking that the eggs were younger than they really were. The company also bribed a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector at least twice to approve sales of poor-quality eggs.

Egg executives sentenced to 3 months for salmonella outbreak [Des Moines Register]