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Federal prosecutors in Iowa have charged Quality Egg LLC and two executives with three federal felonies in connection with the 2010 salmonella outbreak, which lead to over 500 million shell eggs being recalled.
Austin “Jack” DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, were charged on Wednesday, reports Food Safety News. Their charges include bribery of a federal official, as prosecutors allege that Quality Egg attempted to bribe a U.S. Department of Agriculture official.
The federal complaint said that the company "did, directly and indirectly, corruptly give, offer, and promise a thing of value to a public official with the intent to influence an official act, and to induce a public official to do an act and omit to do an act in violation of the public official’s official duty."
According to the Associated Press, the executives were also charged with introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce, which is a misdemeanor. The company itself was charged with a felony of putting misbranded food on the the interstate market. Prosecutors say that this began as far back as 2006, since the company made eggs “appear to be not as old as they actually were.”
The 2010 salmonella outbreak caused thousands of Americans across the country to fall ill.