A woman working at the GNP Company poultry plant in Cold Spring, Minnesota, has been convicted and sentenced on two felony counts of causing damage to property in the first degree for contaminating chicken products processed at the facility.
Faye Slye, 37, was convicted and sentenced on December 15 after admitting to tampering with the chicken products, which eventually led to a recall in 2016. Foreign matters described as ash and sand were found in the products.
The conviction was made based off of surveillance footage, forensic evidence and her own admission of guilt. Her sentence includes spending 90 days in the Stearns County jail and paying $200,000. She will also be on probation for five years, according to a report from the St. Cloud Times. The 90-day sentence may be served in three segments of 30 days over three years on work release
The incident led to the recall of nearly 56,000 pounds of GNP Company chicken products. Those included Just BARE chicken products that were to be sold at the retail level, as well as chicken products distributed through foodservice and institutional outlets.
No consumers reported adverse reactions related to consumption of the products, and a third-party lab verified the foreign matter to be benign.
However, the incident led to an estimated $203,000 loss to GNP Company.
The incident took place during the time when GNP Company was under the ownership of The Maschhoffs. Several months later, it was announced that The Maschhoffs would sell the company to Pilgrim’s, so The Maschhoffs could concentrate on its core business of pig production. The Maschhoffs acquired GNP Company in 2013.
Pilgrim’s, which according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database is the second largest broiler company in the United States, took ownership of GNP Company in January 2017 in an all-cash $350 million transaction.