1. What if Stewart was never told about the rat problem. Did he have a responsibility to find out?
2. What about the workers who shipped the contaminated meat each day? Should they be guilty of some crime? What about the government inspectors who let the warehouse operate for three years? Who is most culpable?
LaGrou’s warehouse in Chicago stored frozen meat for various food companies in the region and its cold storage facility had a severe rodent problem. Evidence indicated that Stewart, president of LaGrou, knew of the rat infestation for a period of three years and instructed employees to keep catching rats but refused to perform a full extermination because he determined that it would be too expensive. Testing by federal and state health agencies confirmed adulteration of food products, including rodent gnawing, rodent hair, and rodent feces on several products in LaGrou’s warehouse. Stewart was charged with violating federal criminal laws prohibiting the sale of adulterated meat and he defended he did not have the requisite knowledge for criminal liability because he had no actual knowledge of any specific meat contamination.