Sample Jury Instructions for a Misdemeanor Food Adulteration Case
NOTE: This case did not go to trial
GOVERNMENT'S PROPOSED JURY INSTRUCTIONS
Pursuant to Rule 30 of the Federal Rules of Criminal
United States of America respectfully requests the Court to include
its charge to the jury the following instructions. The government
requests leave to submit to the Court such further instructions as
become appropriate in light of the evidence adduced at trial.
The government requests that the Court include in its charge
jury Eleventh Circuit Pattern Basic Instructions . . . (fill in
. . . Additionally, the government requests that the Court include
its charge the attached offense instructions.
REQUEST NO. 1
"ADULTERATION OF FOOD HELD FOR SALE"
(Counts 1 through 6)
Counts 1 through 6 of the Information charge that the
caused food to become adulterated, while it was held for sale, and
it had been shipped in interstate commerce.
In order to find the defendant guilty on these charges, you
find beyond a reasonable doubt:
First: The defendant caused food to become
Second: The food was being held for sale;
Third: The food had been shipped in interstate
21 U.S.C. §§ 331(k) and 342(a)(3) and (a)(4).
REQUEST NO. 2
The term "food" means articles used for food or drink for man
other animals and articles used for components of any such
21 U.S.C. § 321(f)
REQUEST NO. 3
Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, food (as
defined) may be adulterated in any of several different ways.
For purposes of this case, one way in which food is
if it consists in whole or in part of any filthy substance, or is
otherwise unfit for food.
For purposes of this case, food is also adulterated if it has
prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may
become contaminated with filth. Under this definition, food is
adulterated even if it has not actually been contaminated. If you
beyond a reasonable doubt that there were insanitary conditions
a reasonable possibility that the food would be contaminated with
then you should find that the food is adulterated.
The terms "filth" and "insanitary conditions" in these
should be construed to have their usual and ordinary meanings, and
should not be confined to any scientific or medical definition.
If you find that an article is food, as I have defined food,
you further unanimously agree that it has any of the
have just described, then you should find that such food is
21 U.S.C. §§ 342(a)(3) and (4); United States v. 1200
Pasteurized Whole Eggs, 339 F. Supp. 131, 136, 140-41 (N.D. Ga.
1972) (§§ 342(a)(3) and (a)(4), cited with approval
United States v. An Article of Food, No. 85-7379 (11th Cir.
1985), reprinted in Kleinfeld & Kaplan, Federal Food,
and Cosmetic Act, Judicial Record, 1985-1986 41; United
King's Trading, Inc., 724 F.2d 631, 633 (8th Cir. 1983) (§
342(a)(4)); United States v. H.B. Gregory Co., 502 F.2d 700,
(7th Cir. 1974), cert. denied, 422 U.S. 1007 (1975)
Devitt and Blackmar, Federal Jury Practice and Instructions
53.06 (1992) ("filth" and "insanitary conditions").
REQUEST NO. 4
The term "interstate commerce" means commerce between any
any place outside that State.
21 U.S.C. §§ 321(a)(1) and (b).
REQUEST NO. 5
CORPORATE OFFICIAL'S LIABILITY FOR VIOLATIONS OF FEDERAL FOOD,
AND COSMETIC ACT
In order to find the defendant guilty, you do not have to find
he personally committed acts causing food to become adulterated.
find that the defendant caused the adulteration of food if you find
beyond a reasonable doubt that, by reason of his job, the defendant
the responsibility and authority to prevent adulteration from
or to promptly correct any adulteration, and that he failed to do
Moreover, it is no defense to the crimes charged in the
that the defendant did not intend adulteration to occur, or that he
lacked knowledge of the specific circumstances that caused
The law does not require the defendant to have actively engaged in
wrongdoing in order to be held responsible for the adulteration of
being held for sale in his processing plant. All that the law
is that the defendant held such a position of responsibility within
enterprise that he had sufficient authority to prevent or correct
dangerous conditions and thereby prevent the adulteration of the
Responsible agents of businesses whose services and products affect
public health have a legal duty to exercise the foresight and
necessary to ensure that their products are not adulterated and are
therefore safe for public consumption. The Federal Food, Drug, and
Cosmetic Act imposes this duty because responsible agents have at
the opportunity to learn of, correct, or prevent insanitary
whereas even the most cautious consumer is unable to protect
United States v. Park, 421 U.S. 658 (1975); United States
Dotterweich, 320 U.S. 277 (1943); United States v. Cattle
Packing Co., Inc., 793 F.2d 232, 239-41 (10th Cir. 1986),
cert. denied, Stanko v. United States, 479
(1986); Palmer v. United States, 340 F.2d 48 (5th Cir.
cert. denied, 382 U.S. 903 (1965); United States
Spice Co., Inc., 601 F. Supp. 1205 (E.D. N.Y. 1984); United
States v. Sene X Eleemosynary Corp., Inc., 479 F. Supp. 970
Fl. 1979); 2 Devitt and Blackmar, Federal Jury Practice and
Instructions § 53.07 (1992).
REQUEST NO. 6
JURY'S DUTY TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS
It is your duty as jurors to follow the law as stated in these
instructions and to apply the rules of law so given to the facts as
find them from the evidence in the case. You must follow the law as
explain it to you whether you agree with that law or not.
any opinion you may have as to what the law should be, it would
your sworn duty to base a verdict on any other view of the law than
given in the instructions of the Court.
Counsel have quite properly referred to some of the applicable
rules of law in their closing arguments to you. If, however, any
difference appears to you between the law as stated by counsel and
as stated by the Court, you are to be governed by the instructions
to you by the Court. Furthermore, in deciding the issues presented
you in this trial, you must not be persuaded by bias, prejudice, or
sympathy for or against any of the parties to this case or by any
11th Cir. Criminal Cases Pattern Jury Instruction 2.1 (1985); 1
and Blackmar, Federal Jury Practice and Instructions
10.01, 12.01 (1992).
"HELD FOR SALE"
A food article is "held for sale" if the producer does not
to use it for his personal consumption.
21 U.S.C. 𨶣(k); United States v. H.B. Gregory Co.,
F.2d 700, 704 (7th Cir. 1974) (citing Hipolite Egg Co. v. United
States, 220 U.S. 45 (1911) for proposition that "all articles,
compound or single, not intended for consumption by the producer,
designed for sale. . . .), cert. denied, 422 U.S.
(1975). See also United States v. Wiesenfeld
Co., 376 U.S. 86, 92 (1964) (holding that bailee "held goods
sale" within meaning of 21 U.S.C. 331(k) even though bailee did not
title to goods); United States v. Cassaro, Inc., 443 F.2d
155-56 (1st Cir. 1971); United States v. Sene X Eleemosynary
Inc., 479 F. Supp. 970, 981-82 (S.D. Fl. 1979) (agreeing with
Hipolite definition of "held for sale" and stating that this
"has long been afforded a liberal reading").
JEFFREY B. CHASNOW
Department of Justice
Office of Consumer Litigation
P.O. Box 386
Washington, D.C. 20044
[cited in USAM 4-8.210;
Civil Resource Manual 104