A federal judge later this fall could finalize ConAgra Foods' $11.2 million settlement of a criminal case stemming from the sale of Peter Pan peanut butter tainted with salmonella.
Court records show U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands told attorneys Thursday to submit possible dates for a plea hearing after Oct. 24.
Nearly a decade has passed since a salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 626 Americans was linked to peanut butter produced in southwest Georgia. Last year, federal prosecutors announced Chicago-based ConAgra had agreed to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of shipping adulterated food.
The deal still requires the judge's approval. It includes an $8 million fine that's the highest ever in a U.S. food safety case, plus $3.2 million in forfeitures to the government.