A Sept. 30 Bloomberg BNA article, “Food Execs on High Alert After Sentencing in Peanut Case,” quotes Charlotte partner Jim Neale on the uptick in
investigations by the Department of Justice (DOJ) into food contamination cases. Recent enforcement actions related to illnesses and deaths caused by
tainted peanut butter, eggs and cantaloupe have resulted in steep fines against companies and even prison sentences for some individuals.
Given how few cases were prosecuted before 2008 or 2009 – even though the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act has existed in some form since the early 1900s – Jim
Neale notes that the DOJ seems to have “taken the law off the shelf and dusted it off.” Now, any time there is a recall, he says, there seems to be the
threat of an investigation.