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Peanut factory knowingly sold salmonella-contaminated peanuts to food suppliers

The Peanut Corporation of America knowingly distributed salmonella contaminated peanuts to manufacturers and presented faked documents to back up those false claims, in what has become one of the largest salmonella outbreaks in U.S. history, according to court testimony. The trial has begun for three executives of the peanut producer over the 2009 outbreak that killed nine people and sickened at least 700 others. Peanut Corporation of America went bankrupt in 2009 after it was identified as the source of the outbreak. Then-plant manager Sammy Lightsey testified against plant owner Stewart Parnell, saying he discovered that the company was shipping peanuts on ... Read More

Jury selection begins for trial of employees of peanut processing plant at center of deadly Salmonella outbreak

Jury selection is underway for the trial of three people, employees and associates with a peanut processing plant blamed for the deadliest Salmonella outbreak in U.S. history, which killed nine people and sickened more than 700 in 2009. Former Peanut Company of America owner Stewart Parnell, his brother and food broker Michael Parnell, and the peanut plant’s quality control manager Mary Wilkerson were indicted last year on 76 criminal counts that allege the three shipped peanuts contaminated with Salmonella to industrial food customers – including nursing homes, schools and food suppliers – and covered up lab tests that showed some batches ... Read More

FDA, CDC investigating possible link between illnesses and Uncle Ben’s rice

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating illnesses of children and teachers in three states to determine if they may have been caused by Uncle Ben’s infused rice served in schools and day cares. The illnesses affected children in Texas, Illinois, and North Dakota. One of the worst outbreaks was in Katy, Texas, where 34 students and four teachers at three different schools reported skin reactions, burning, headaches, and nausea after eating Uncle Ben’s “Mexican flavor” infused rice. The symptoms persisted for 30 to 90 minutes. The reactions prompted the ... Read More

Texas businessman accused of defrauding federal school program settles whistleblower lawsuit

A Texas businessman who supplied digital equipment and services to the Houston Independent School District (HISD) with funds provided by the federal government, has agreed to pay $400,000 for defrauding the Federal Communications Commission’s E-rate program, a successful program that helps connect every U.S. library and school to the Internet. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Larry Lehmann of Giddings, Texas, functioned as the CEO and managing partner of Acclaim Professional Services, which partnered with other companies to provide E-rate funded equipment and services to HISD from 2004 through 2006. Created by Congress in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the ... Read More

Alabama’s new concussion law aims to protect young athletes

A new law barring young athletes from immediately returning to play after suffering a concussion will help raise awareness of the dangers of these brain injuries, especially when ignored or improperly treated. The law, signed by Governor Bentley on June 9, could also have an enormous impact on the way sports are played. From now on, all youth sports programs and recreational organizations must distribute information sheets detailing the symptoms and risks of concussions and other forms of traumatic brain injury. Athletes and their parents or guardians must sign the sheets, acknowledging they have read and understood the material. Coaches ... Read More