Stewart Parnell, better known as the former president of the Peanut Corporation of America who knowingly shipped Salmonella-tainted peanut products around the country, is back in the business again. 

While the criminal investigation against Parnell drags on, he’s been busy as a consultant for other peanut companies.   Pretty unsettling news for the hundreds of people – many of whom were kids – that were sickened last year by peanut products shipped from Parnell’s filthy factory in Georgia, and especially for the family members of the 9 victims that died.

Peter Hurley of Oregon (in the above photo with son Jake) thought Jake had the flu until his condition worsened to the point that they sought medical attention and Jake was diagnosed with Salmonella poisoning.  The source? One of Jake’s favorite snacks – peanut butter crackers – which were made with products by the Peanut Corporation of America.

Click here to see a video of Peter and Jake featured in the news this week telling their story.

Senator Patrick Leahy of VT thinks that food safety offenders need to face stiffer penalties, and has introduced a bill that would create a new criminal offense for any individual or corporation that knowingly distributes tainted food products, complete with fines and prison sentences.

Says Sen. Leahy in this press release:

“The fines and recalls that usually result from criminal violations under current law fall short in protecting the public from harmful products.  Too often, those who are willing to endanger our children in pursuit of profits view such fines or recalls as just the cost of doing business.  This common sense bill increases the sentences that prosecutors can seek for people who knowingly violate our food safety laws.”

In the meantime, Stewart Parnell just hopes the feds hurry up with the investigation already, quoted in this Food Safety News article as saying, “I feel like I wish they’d come on and do what they’re going to do. I’d like to get this behind me.”   (Sound like a BP executive that ‘wants his life back‘?  Yeah, we thought so too.)

Very convenient for Parnell who so far has dodged questioning and pleaded the fifth during a Congressional investigation.

Let’s see if egg corporation execs are more forthcoming at next week’s Congressional hearing on the egg recall, shall we?