German arrest linked to fatal salmonella outbreak

By Alice Foster contact

- Last updated on GMT

Egg factory owner arrested in connection with fatal salmonella outbreak
Egg factory owner arrested in connection with fatal salmonella outbreak

Related tags: Salmonella

A German egg factory owner has been arrested in connection with a fatal salmonella outbreak, as a US former peanut company boss was sentenced to 28 years in jail over an unrelated outbreak which claimed nine lives. 

Eggs contaminated with salmonella from a Bavarian factory were linked to an international outbreak which struck a Birmingham hospital where one fatality was positively attributed to salmonella.

Officials in Germany have confirmed that former factory owner Stefan Pohlman has been detained on suspicion of selling contaminated eggs which infected 78 Austrians and killed one of them.

A statement from the German prosecutor’s office said that Pohlman was suspected of causing the illnesses and death through negligence as well as deceiving commercial bulk buyers.

78 Austrians fall sick

The victims were taken ill in Austria between June and September 2014, but allegations involving other patients were also being investigated, it said.

In Birmingham, 36 patients and staff was infected during a salmonella outbreak at Heartlands Hospital between May and June 2014. Five people died but a report found salmonella only caused one death.

A hospital spokesman declined to comment on the arrest, but said: These cases have been recognised as part of the wider national and international outbreak arising from German eggs.”

Prison sentences for US outbreak

Meanwhile in an unrelated case, the former owner of Peanut Corporation of America Stewart Parnell has been jailed for 28 years for his part in a salmonella outbreak that killed nine people.

Sentencings in America

“Americans should be able to trust that the food we buy for ourselves and our families is safe.”​ 

  • Stuart Delery, acting associate attorney general. 

His brother Michael, who worked as a food broker for the company, was also sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The brothers were jailed this week for their roles in conspiracy to defraud customers by shipping salmonella-positive peanut products and falsifying test results.

The tainted food led to more than 700 reported cases across 46 states in 2009.

“Americans should be able to trust that the food we buy for ourselves and our families is safe,”​ said acting associate attorney general Stuart Delery. 

“The sentences handed down today ​[September 21] to officials associated with the Peanut Corporation of America demonstrate the consequences for those whose criminal actions threaten that trust by introducing contaminated food into the marketplace.”  

Related topics: Food Safety

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