WASHINGTON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - A federal grand jury has indicted former officials of Peanut Corp of America in connection with a 2009 outbreak of salmonella from tainted peanut products, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday.

The charges include fraud, conspiracy and the introduction of adulterated and misbranded food into interstate commerce, the department said. (Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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  • Horsemeat in Beef Products: Europe

    The ongoing horsemeat scandal has disrupted the food chain in a major way throughout Europe. Horsemeat has been found in <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/14/walmart-horsemeat_n_2688782.html?utm_hp_ref=business">various meat products</a> sold in Europe ranging from burgers to frozen lasagna. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/14/horsemeat-scandal-arrests_n_2688171.html?utm_hp_ref=business">Arrests have been made</a>, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/15/horsemeat-fraud_n_2693707.html?utm_hp_ref=business">innocence has been claimed</a> and a lot of unrest and conversations about global food safety have resulted.

  • Tainted Milk: China

    China has had a slew of issues with tainted milk for the past several years. The scandal came to light in 2008 when at least six children died after consuming <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/02/china-milk-scandal-police_n_154758.html">milk that contained melamine</a>, an industrial chemical that causes kidney stones in children. Transparency was a huge issue in this scandal, as it was discovered that authorities <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/07/china-tainted-milk-kept-s_n_414907.html">investigated a dairy for a year</a> before going public with the information about tainted products. In more recent years, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/27/china-tainted-milk_n_1170778.html">other problems with China's milk</a> have continued to arise.

  • Mad Cow: Great Britain

    Mad cow disease was first discovered in the mid-1980s in the U.K. It wreaked havoc on the beef industry, and <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1371964/The-recipe-for-disaster-that-killed-80-and-left-a-5bn-bill.html">caused at least 80 deaths</a>. There have been a few incidents of mad cow disease in the U.S. as well, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/25/mad-cow-disease-beef-importing_n_1452191.html">one as recent as last year</a>. The effects of mad cow are still present -- anyone that spent at least three months in the UK between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 1996 is <a href="http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements/eligibility-criteria-alphabetical-listing#arc5">not able to donate blood</a>.

  • Pink Slime: U.S.

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/pink-slime">"Pink slime"</a> as a descriptor sounds pretty gross. Which is perhaps part of the reason why the term caught on like wildfire, and eventually led to several beef processing plants shutting down, along with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/14/pink-slime-lawsuit-abc-news_n_1883528.html">libel cases against media organizations</a> to boot. It all started when chef <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/pink-slime-fast-food_n_1237206.html">Jamie Oliver brought the term to light</a> -- pink slime referred to a controversial beef additive made up of spare beef trimmings that have been treated with ammonium hydroxide to make them safe and at least semi-palatable. While the additive may have been safe enough for consumption (though not at all appetizing), fear-mongering coupled with distrust of the beef industry led to a massive outcry, and the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/13/pink-slime-defamation-lawsuit_n_1880213.html">closure of three plants</a>.

  • Sprouts with E. Coli: Europe

    In 2011, over 30 people died and over 3,000 people were sickened from <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/10/sprouts-caused-e-coli-outbreak-germany_n_874689.html">sprouts that contained E. coli</a>. This has been the world's deadliest E. coli outbreak. People in over a dozen countries were sickened before the sprouts were eventually linked to a German farm.

  • Cantaloupe with Listeria: U.S.

    In 2011, the listeria outbreak in cantaloupe was noted as the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/29/listeria-symptoms-cantaloupe-recall_n_987125.html">deadliest outbreak of food-related illness</a> in more than 10 years in the United States. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/08/listeria-cantaloupe-outbreak-over_n_1137920.html">Thirty people died</a> and 146 were sickened. In 2012, there was another big cantaloupe recall from a different farm. The farm eventually <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/07/recalled-cantaloupe-burch-farms-quits_n_1864165.html">shut its doors</a>, noting "It’s just a matter of time when there will be another outbreak somewhere.”