New Food Safety Law Protects Whistleblowers

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A significant component to the newly enacted Food Safety and Modernization Act provides protection for workers who blow the whistle on companies that violate food safety standards. However, officials are concerned that workers with information that help prevent foodborne illness are not aware of the corporate whistleblower protection provision. reports that under the newly enforced provision that encourage whistleblowers to step forward with information about food safety violations, food industry workers employed by Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated companies are protected against employer retaliation when stepping forward to expose company fraud. Workers are protected from being fired, demoted, unfair treatment and denied promotions if they decide to speak against employer violations.

The food safety law, signed by President Barack Obama, is geared to allow the FDA to implement recalls and hopes to ease the process of how contaminated food is traced back to its starting point. Food must pass a government approved spot check, but if the system fails to recognize a violation, officials hope workers will step forward if they realize that the food they are working with is a threat to public health.

Much is happening to increase worker awareness. At a recent conference in Washington, Kenneth Kendrick, former plant manager and whistleblower, spoke about the awful conditions at the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) plant in Texas. At the time, Kendrick sent anonymous emails about rat infestations and bird droppings that contaminated PCA products. It wasn’t until he was employed at another FDA-regulated company that he publicly disclosed the information which resulted in job termination and long-term inability to find another position.

In the end, PCA was held accountable for the 2008-2009 Salmonella Outbreak that sickened hundreds, killed nine, and stemmed in thousands of recalls.

If you know of wrongdoing on the part of a business or government organization and you want to reveal these acts, it is important to have an experienced whistleblower lawyer on your side to protect your rights. The whistleblower lawyers at our firm can make sure you are compensated for the risk you take. Please contact us by filling out our online form or by calling 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).