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Contaminated-Beef Case Ends in Acquittals

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Reuters

A federal jury acquitted Hudson Foods, a part of Tyson Foods Inc., and a former Hudson executive of lying to investigators about an outbreak of E. coli bacteria that sparked the nation’s largest recall of contaminated beef. The jury deliberated only about two hours before finding Hudson Foods and its former quality control director, Michael Gregory, not guilty. Each was charged with one count of making false statements for allegedly lying about the source of the tainted meat that made 16 people in Colorado sick in the summer of 1997. The meat was tracked to Hudson’s ground beef plant in Columbus, Neb. Prosecutors said the company and Gregory lied to try to limit a consumer recall, which set a record at 25 million pounds. The massive recall following the incident contributed to Hudson’s decision to sell out to Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson last year. Tyson’s Class A shares closed down 31 cents at $17.31 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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