The FDA said that the egg contamination was preventable

By Elizabeth King
Updated February 13, 2018
Credit: Photo by Silvia Elena Casta via Getty Images

Justice is being served in Iowa this week, where two egg executives have been ordered to go to prison over a 2010 salmonella outbreak that sickened as many 56,000 people according to an estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The father and son executives of Quality Egg LLC will serve prison sentences for their role in the outbreak now that the Supreme Court has denied to hear their appeal, exhausting the pair’s legal options for avoiding prison time. 83-year-old Austin “Jack” DeCoster and 53-year-old Peter DeCoster have been ordered to serve 3 months each, and have already paid hefty fines for their crimes.

During the outbreak in the summer of 2010, hundreds of millions of Hillandale eggs—170.4 million as of late August 2010—were recalled, CNN reported at the time. The eggs were recalled voluntarily, and removed from the shelves of at least 14 states. Although millions of eggs were recalled, it wasn’t soon enough to prevent thousands of people from getting sick, some suffering permanent injuries due to salmonella poisoning. The Food and Drug Administration called it “one of the largest shell egg recalls in recent history,” CNN reported. The FDA also said at the time that the outbreak was preventable.

Both men have been sentenced to three months in prison; the younger DeCoster will serve his time first, and his dad will see his three months 30 days after Peter’s release, according to the Associated Press. In addition to prison time, each man has paid $100,000 in criminal penalties, and another $83,000 in restitution, the AP reports.