published Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Minnesota son hopes salmonella trial sends message

  • photo
    Peanut Corporation of America's president Stewart Parnell, arrives at United States Federal Court in Lynchburg, Va., in this 2009 file photo.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ATLANTA — The son of a Minnesota woman who died after eating tainted peanut butter hopes a trial in Georgia sends a message to food manufacturers that there can be serious consequences for peddling contaminated food.

Seventy-two-year-old Shirley Almer, of Perham, was among the nine people who died in a salmonella outbreak traced to Peanut Corporation of America. The company's head and two others go on trial this week.

After successfully battling lung cancer and a brain tumor, Almer ate bad peanut butter while being treated for dehydration at a Brainerd hospital.

Since his mother's death in 2008, Jeff Almer has pushed for stricter safeguards. He's been one of the leading voices calling for prosecutions, and says he plans to travel from the Twin Cities to attend parts of the trial.

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