It is easy to think, “That could never happen at my company” and “That could never be me” and in many ways it is right, said Stuart Delery, during a speech at the American Food Manufacturing and Safety Summit.
“The overwhelming majority of people in the food manufacturing business do the right thing, day in and day out, diligently working to ensure that the processes they use are appropriate and the products they sell are safe,” said the lawyer for the Federal Government.
“But in an industry that occupies a critical position of public trust, even a tiny minority can cause grave harm. Even a single decision to cut corners can have deadly consequences.
“The criminal prosecutions we bring should stand as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of disregarding danger to one’s customers in the name of getting a shipment out on time – of sacrificing what is right for what is expedient.”
PCA products were tied to a Salmonella outbreak that led to over 700 reported infections and nine deaths, according to the CDC.
Speaking to an audience of food safety professionals and manufacturers, he said: “As parents, we can make sure that our kids look both ways before they cross street. We can buckle their seat belts when we’re in the car and make sure they wear helmets when they ride their bikes.
“But we have to rely on you – on the companies who manufacture and distribute food – to ensure that the food we buy for our children is safe. That is not something we can do on our own.”