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Egg titan, son to plead guilty in food safety violation case

taintedeggs.jpg

This Sept. 22, 2010 combination of file photos shows Quality Egg LLC owner Austin Jack DeCoster, left, and its chief operating officer, Peter DeCoster on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

A self-made titan in the egg production industry, his son and the Iowa company they ran are expected to plead guilty to federal food safety violations stemming from a 2010 salmonella outbreak that sickened thousands.

Austin "Jack" DeCoster and Peter DeCoster are scheduled to enter guilty pleas Tuesday in Sioux City to misdemeanor charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett will decide later on their sentences, which could include a year in custody.

Their company, Quality Egg LLC, is expected to plead 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 agreement that Bennett will also consider.

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