Former egg industry executive Austin “Jack” DeCoster and son Peter DeCoster are scheduled to be sentenced in February 2015 for their involvement in a multistate Salmonella outbreak that was traced to the DeCosters’ former company, Quality Egg LLC. The two pleaded guilty on June 3 to misdemeanor charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.
The sentencing hearings are set to begin on February 9 at a courtroom in Sioux City, Iowa. The hearings could last as long as five days, according to a report in The State.
The charges stem from when Quality Egg sold eggs that caused thousands of people to become ill during the 2010 Salmonella outbreak. The outbreak also led to the recall of 550 million eggs.
The DeCosters could face up to one year in jail, but their attorney has argued that the two do not deserve jail time and should simply pay a fine and serve probation. Federal prosecutors said they found no evidence that the DeCosters were aware they were selling tainted products, but that as corporate officers, they can be held legally responsible.
Quality Egg also faces a fine after pleading guilty to bribing a federal inspector, selling misbranded food and introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.