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Feds Step Up Crackdown on Graft in Calif. Tomato Processing Biz

The food industry is grabbing unwanted publicity as of late. Peanut butter and tomatoes. What’s next? For the sake of us chronic snackers, please don’t mess with the Potato CHIPS!

By Demian Bulwa,
San Francisco Chronicle
SACRAMENTO — Federal investigators stepped up a crackdown on alleged graft in California’s huge tomato-processing industry by securing guilty pleas from two people Wednesday, including a Kings County woman who admitted to mislabeling products that should have been thrown out because of high mold content.

Jennifer Dahlman, 48, of Lemoore, was a longtime employee at SK Foods, which provides tomato paste to food makers for use in sauces, soups and other products. The Lemoore company has been the target of a federal probe into alleged bribery, price-fixing and mislabeling, with prosecutors calling it a “racketeering enterprise.”

Prosecutors said the corruption alleged in the case raised consumer prices for tomato sauces, soups and salsas.

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