Klobuchar: Peanut plant owner should be charged for outbreak


Sen. Amy Klobuchar said the owner of the peanut-processing company in the center of the salmonella outbreak should be charged, according the Star Tribune. More than 600 people were poisoned and killed nine.

Klobuchar hosted a panel discussion today on food safety on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus. The sons of two Minnesotans who died after eating peanut butter also spoke out about creating stricter government regulations to make sure our food system is safe.

Although charges would be appropriate, criminal charges are rare in these cases. Perhaps that is why companies continue to try to cheat the system and send out potentially deadly products.

More from the Star Tribune:

"Based on my review of the evidence, there should be a criminal prosecution here," said Klobuchar, D-Minn., after hosting a two-hour panel discussion on food safety at the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus.

Klobuchar, who is a former prosecutor, said she was outraged by disclosures that the company shipped batches of peanut products after they tested positive for salmonella. She said that if the company president is charged and found guilty, "I would hope that he would go to jail."

Criminal charges are rarely brought in food contamination cases, however. Klobuchar said she wants to review what tools are available to prosecutors and possibly improve them.