In what Federal officials say is the first criminal conviction in a large-scale food-poisoning outbreak, Odwalla Inc. It is rare for Federal officials to bring criminal charges in cases like this, but officials said today that as new kinds of dangerous bacteria spread through the nation's food supply, they were trying to expand the kinds of penalties and levers they could use to force companies to be more rigorous with safety practices. Michael A. Friedman, the Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, which helped prosecute the case. Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of food safety for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group, said the settlement would be ''a good deterrent for other companies. Odwalla, based in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Fourteen children developed a life-threatening disease that ravages kidneys. Odwalla will also be on court-supervised probation for five years, meaning that it will have to submit a detailed plan to the food and drug agency demonstrating its food safety precautions and that any subsequent violations could result in more serious charges, Federal officials said. Johns, the assistant United States attorney for the Eastern District of California, who led the lengthy investigation.
For the past 20 years, Greg Steltenpohl, an avant-garde jazz saxophonist turned beverage entrepreneur, has worked to rekindle the magic behind his greatest hit — and make peace with a nightmare that led to an abrupt fall. LOS ANGELES — For the past 20 years, Greg Steltenpohl, an avant-garde jazz saxophonist turned beverage entrepreneur, has worked to rekindle the magic behind his greatest hit — and make peace with a nightmare that led to an abrupt fall. Within a few years, the company was a multimillion-dollar business, flying high as one of the first breakout healthful drinks now commonplace in grocery aisles. Past: Founded Odwalla in , lost control after outbreak of E.
Some outbreaks are wakeup calls for consumers. After Jack-in-Box, the public was associating the deadly E. Vegans could feel smug. But when the hippie-like Odwalla Inc. The recall was initiated in response to 13 reported cases of E. During the course of the public health investigation into the outbreak, a genetically indistinguishable strain of E.
The Odwalla E. Odwalla made and marketed unpasteurized fruit juices for the health segment of the juice market. The Odwalla plant had several food safety issues, many of which arose because Odwalla did not pasteurize its juice. The next year, Dave Stevenson, Odwalla's technical services director who oversaw quality assurance, suggested to Odwalla executives that the company should add a chlorine rinse to guard against bacteria on the skin of processed fruit, supplementing its existing phosphoric acid wash process. However, this plan was dropped by Chip Bettle, Odwalla's senior vice president, who feared that the chemicals would harm the fruit and alter the flavor of the juice. Gallagher, wrote that "Odwalla continuously upgraded its manufacturing process in the period leading up to the recall.