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Egg Producers to Plead Guilty in Food Safety Case

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (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 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 is expected to 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 consider.