Food Safety Summit May 6-9, 2025
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Food Safety Summit

Food Safety Summit: Foodborne Illness Outbreak Mock Criminal Trial – A View from the Jury Box

One of the Food Safety Summit’s closing sessions, “Foodborne Illness Outbreak Mock Criminal Trial – A View from the Jury Box" took place on Thursday, October 23rd. 

Both presenters were from Food Industry Counsel LLC, and included Joel Chappelle, attorney, and Shawn Stevens, attorney and founder.

The session took the form of a mock trial. In the trial, a vice president of food safety for a food company was on trial for alleging to have caused a nationwide foodborne illness outbreak, which sickened 26 people and killed a girl.

The Park Doctrine, a Supreme Court doctrine from the 1970s, was used, which meant that the defendant was aware of a condition that could lead to product contamination, and was also in a position to eliminate the condition; but did not.

If the defendant is found guilty, it could lead to a misdemeanor criminal charge, which carries up to one year in prison and a $250,000 fine. The case was called “United States of America vs. Lynn White.”

Click here to watch this event on-demand.

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