The father and son duo behind a 2010 Salmonella outbreak linked to contaminated eggs have learned this week that they can no longer appeal their prison sentences, says the U.S. Supreme Court.
Austin “Jack” DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, were found guilty of misdemeanor food safety violations. Each was sentenced to 3 months in prison in 2015 after their company—the now defunct Iowa-based Quality Egg LLC—knowingly shipped eggs nationwide that were contaminated with Salmonella. Shipped eggs were reportedly marked with inaccurate processing and expiration dates.
Although the two pleaded guilty, both claim they were not aware their eggs were tainted, but admit they could have stopped the eggs from being shipped had they known. However, according to court documents, both father and son were aware of their egg farm’s unsanitary conditions and did nothing to initiate improvements. Some of the DeCosters’ supporters say that blame should be placed on workers and staff who had a more hands-on role with shipping the contaminated eggs.
Previously, the DeCosters appealed their sentences which they deemed too harsh and even unconstitutional. The sentences were originally upheld last summer and will now likely be enforced by 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judges.
Quality Egg recalled an estimated 550 million eggs in 2010 and later paid a $6.8 million fine. About 56,000 consumers were sickened due to consuming the company’s Salmonella-tainted eggs, and some were left with permanent health issues.
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