In a recent Associated Press (AP) interview, U.S. Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery warns that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will pursue criminal penalties against companies that sell poisoned food. AP cites the recent prosecution of Peanut Corp. of America executives along with actions against the producers of tainted cantaloupe and eggs as evidence of the federal government’s increased focus on criminal enforcement of food safety laws. Plaintiffs’ attorney Bill Marler reportedly told the news organization that the DOJ’s actions were especially notable because the company executives charged in the prosecutions often did not know that their food products were tainted.
“We have made a priority holding individuals and companies responsible when they fail to live up to their obligations that they have to protect the safety of the food that all of us eat,” Delery said. “The criminal prosecutions we bring should stand as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of disregarding danger to one’s customers in the name of getting a shipment out on time—of sacrificing what is right for what is expedient.” See Associated Press, July 13, 2015.