ConAgra Fined $11 Million for Its Peanut-Butter Salmonella Outbreak

Looking much better these days. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The Justice Department says ConAgra Foods has agreed to pay $11.2 million to wrap up a federal investigation into salmonella-tainted peanut butter that’s dragged on since 2007 — another reminder that 2016 was the Year of Karma for anybody that played fast and loose with food safety. Eight million of that is the fine, the most ever for a foodborne illness–related crime, and also an amount many would argue is only fitting, since the recall was one of the hugest in U.S. history as well. Two of ConAgra’s subsidiary brands — Peter Pan and Great Value — were affected, and at least 625 people in 47 different states got sick, a fifth of whom ended up hospitalized. ConAgra was ultimately forced to recall every jar of Peter Pan it made between 2004 and 2007. The brand basically vanished from grocery-store shelves for six months.

Unfortunately, none of that money goes to the victims. The Associated Press reports more than 150 people sought financial restitution, but the judge felt nobody proved they got sick specifically from salmonella in jars of the recalled peanut butter.

ConAgra to Pay Whopping Fine for 2006 Salmonella Outbreak