There is a temptation for company owners and managers to cut corners, not react to quality risks and in some cases actually send out product that is known to be contaminated.
It appears that this temptation was too great for the Parnell Brothers in Georgia, USA. They owned and ran the Peanut Corporation of America. Some of their products were contaminated with salmonella which resulted in thousands being sick and contributed to the reported deaths of 9 people.
The result of their attitude to food safety has resulted in a life prison sentence for the CEO, 17.5 years for his brother, a peanut broker, and up to 10 years for the quality manager.
The full article in Food Safety News provides more detail.
Having well developed food safety plans, together with well rehearsed plans for recalls if pathogens are detected must be part of a food companies mode of operation.
Ignoring these procedures and plans risks not only the lives of the customers but the existence of the companies and the freedom of the managers and owners of food processing companies! While quality systems are costly, it has been shown time and time again that providing high quality products that are fit for purpose, meet industry regulations and customer expectations sell well, are profitable and do not meet with customer backlash due to disappointed consumers.