ALBANY, Ga. (AP) - A federal prosecutor says a Georgia peanut plant linked to a deadly salmonella outbreak fabricated food-safety lab results sent to customers including food giant Kellogg's.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Dasher told jurors in an opening statement Friday that Peanut Corp. of America shipped chopped nuts and peanut paste without waiting for microbiological testing, and sometimes faked lab certificates given to customers.
Defense attorney Tom Bondurant said company owner Stewart Parnell struggled to keep up with day-to-day operations and was left "holding the bag" by managers and employees who failed him. Lawyers for two other defendants, food broker Michael Parnell and plant quality control manager Mary Wilkerson, deferred openings until later in the case.
Nine people died and more than 700 were sickened by the 2009 outbreak in 2008 and 2009.
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