Foodborne Illness

Tainted peanut butter leads to $11.2M penalty a decade later

In this Tuesday, June 30, 2015, file photo, flags fly over ConAgra Foods world headquarters in Omaha, Neb.

In this Tuesday, June 30, 2015, file photo, flags fly over ConAgra Foods world headquarters in Omaha, Neb.  (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Food giant ConAgra is paying for a salmonella outbreak that sickened hundreds of Americans 10 years ago.

The president of a ConAgra conglomerate pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday on the company's behalf to a misdemeanor charge of shipping adulterated food. The case resulted from a 2006 outbreak traced to Peter Pan peanut butter produced in southwest Georgia.

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A judge approved a plea deal that requires ConAgra to pay an $8 million fine - the highest criminal fine ever imposed in the U.S. for a foodborne illness. The company will also pay $3.2 million in cash forfeitures.