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Former egg company president admits selling old eggs blamed for Salmonella outbreak

Quality Egg LLC agreed Tuesday to pay a fine of almost $7 million for selling eggs linked to a Salmonella outbreak that sickened almost 2,000 people.
By Frances Burns   |   June 3, 2014 at 2:49 PM
| License Photo

SIOUX CITY, Iowa, June 3 (UPI) -- The former president of an Iowa egg company admitted Tuesday that Quality Egg LLC sold old eggs as fresh, causing a 2010 Salmonella outbreak.

The company also pleaded guilty before a federal magistrate in Sioux City and agreed to pay a $6.79 million fine. Quality Egg acknowledged paying bribes to officials and selling mislabeled eggs.

Austin "Jack" DeCoster, 79, of Turner, Maine, and his son, Peter, 51, of Clarion, Iowa, pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor, selling contaminated food across state lines. They face fines of $100,000 each and up to a year in prison.

U.S. Magistrate Leonard Strand did not set a sentencing date and allowed the father and son to remain free on bail.

Almost 2,000 cases of Salmonella, a potentially deadly infection, were linked to Quality Egg, which also did business as Wright County Egg, and Hillandale Farms. The company recalled 550 million eggs.

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