California meat inspector who falsely certified that contaminated beef was free of E. coli

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a California inspector of meat who falsely certified that contaminated beef was free of E. coli has been sentenced to a year of home detention.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Monday that Jim Johnson of Downey was also ordered to pay more than $300,000 in restitution.

The 67-year-old pleaded guilty in November to federal charges of falsifying inspection documents.

Johnson worked as a consultant for Huntington Meat Packing, a former processing and distribution company in Montebello.

Prosecutors say he knowingly provided federal food safety inspectors with papers that stated a beef sample had tested negative for E. coli — when in fact it had tested positive for the pathogen.

Johnson's actions led to the recall of more than five million pounds of beef products.

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