Owners of Quality Egg, LLC Charged in Connection with 2010 Salmonella Outbreak that Sickened 2,000 Corporation also faces two felony counts, including bribery and misbranding of product, which made eggs appear not as old as they actually were.
This morning, Austin “Jack” DeCoster and Peter DeCoster along with their company, Quality Egg, LLC, were charged with crimes related to a nationwide Salmonella outbreak in 2010 that was caused by contaminated eggs from the company’s factory in Iowa. The charges were filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Iowa Central Division.
The father and son DeCosters face one count each of Introducing Adulterated Food Into Interstate Commerce. Quality Egg, LLC has been charged with two felony counts, including Bribery of a Public Official and Introducing Misbranded Food Into Interstate Commerce with Intent to Defraud or Mislead. This latter charge involved practices that made the eggs shipped appear to not be as old as they actually were. About 2,000 people were sickened in the outbreak.
“These charges send a powerful message to all producers of food,” said Bill Marler, a Seattle-based attorney who defended some those who were sickened after consuming eggs that were traced back to Quality Egg, LLC.
For some time, Marler has been encouraging federal prosecutors to charge the DeCosters and their company with crimes related to the outbreak.
“I commend the prosecutor in this case for charging the DeCosters with the crime of shipping adulterated food. Companies like Quality Egg are the gatekeepers of our nation’s food supply and should take that job seriously. When they don’t, there should always be consequences,” said Marler.
In September 2012, a former manager at Quality Egg plead guilty to trying to bribe a USDA inspector to allow the sale of unsafe eggs.
ABOUT BILL MARLER
Bill Marler is an accomplished food safety advocate and attorney. He began litigating foodborne illness cases in 1993, when he successfully represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously injured survivor of the Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. Over the years, Bill and his firm, Marler Clark, have become the leaders in representing victims of foodborne illness, and have gone against companies that include Odwalla, Chili’s, ConAgra, Dole, KFC, Sizzler, Golden Corral and Wendy’s.
Bill spends much of his time traveling to address food industry groups, fair associations, and public health groups about foodborne illness, related litigation, and surrounding issues. He has testified before Congress as well as State Legislatures. He is a frequent author of articles related to foodborne illness in food safety journals and magazines as well as on his personal blog, www.marlerblog.com. Bill also recently founded Food Safety News (www.foodsafetynews.com) as a one-stop resource for global food safety news and information.