Egg titan, son plead guilty in food safety case
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - An egg industry titan, his son and the Iowa company they ran have pleaded guilty to federal food safety violations stemming from a salmonella outbreak in 2010.
Austin "Jack" DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.
A federal judge will decide later on their sentences. They could face up to a year in jail.
Their company, Quality Egg LLC, pleaded guilty to charges of bribing a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector, selling misbranded food and introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.
The company has agreed to pay a $6.8 million fine under a plea deal that the judge is considering.
The outbreak sickened thousands and ruined the egg production empire that DeCoster built from scratch.