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Peanut Salmonella Outbreak Victims Angered by Lack of Prosecussions

Victims of last year's salmonella outbreak say they are fed up.

They are angry that no one has been charged in the salmonella outbreak linked to hundreds of illnesses and nine deaths.

"It seems like it's been forgotten. That's kind of how the country ebbs and flows — it's in the news for a while, then everything quiets down," Lou Tousignant told the Associated Press.

His 78-year-old father died in January from salmonella poisoning after eating tainted peanut butter in his nursing home.

As previously discussed here, reported infections of Salmonella serotype Typhimurium began between September 3 and December 31, 2008, with most illnesses beginning after October 1st, and 18 percent of reported cases requiring hospitalization.

The peanut salmonella outbreak was linked to Peanut Corp. of America plant in Blakely, Ga., where Food and Drug Administration inspectors found roaches and mold while trying to figure out the source of the salmonella.

During the criminal probe, Congress also revealed e-mails from the peanut company's top executive that seemed to suggest the pursuit of profits took priority over ensuring public safety.

Food safety prosecutions typically lead to fines against companies rather than prison time, and experts and attorneys sensed criminal charges could be imminent in the salmonella case.

Under federal law cases can prosecuted without proof the company knew it was distributing contaminated food.

According to the AP, the deadline for personal injury claims against the company was Oct. 31, but the number of people seeking a share of $12 million in insurance is not yet available.