ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — A former Georgia peanut processing plant manager charged in connection with a 2009 salmonella outbreak that killed nine people has pleaded guilty in the case.
Samuel Lightsey pleaded guilty Wednesday to seven counts in the case, including obstruction of justice, conspiracy and wire fraud. Lightsey was the manager of Peanut Corporation of America's plant in Blakely and is accused of scheming to manufacture and ship tainted peanuts.
Prosecutors recommended in a plea agreement that Lightsey serve no more than six years in prison.
The subsequent salmonella outbreak caused one of the largest recalls in history and prompted the government to file criminal charges, rarely pursued in food poisoning cases because intentional contamination is hard to prove.
Three others are charged in the case, including company owner Stewart Parnell.