ConAgra to pay millions in tainted Peter Pan peanut butter case

The food manufacturer is paying the price for a decade’s old misstep involving salmonella. Here’s what unfolded and what both sides had to say.

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ConAgra is set to pay more than $11 million in penalties nearly a decade after its Peter Pan brand peanut butter sickened hundreds with salmonella.

As part of a deal struck with prosecutors, the Chicago-based company pled guilty to a misdemeanor. The fine is said to be the largest ever in a food safety case in the United States.

ConAgra’s president was on hand to plead guilty to shipping adulterated food in a case that saw 625 instances of salmonella poisoning in 47 states.

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The company came under heavy criticism for its decision in 2006 to continue shipping peanut butter from a plant in Georgia despite lab tests showing that salmonella was present. It wasn’t until 2007 that the company recalled all of its Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter dating back to 2004.

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