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Bumble Bee Foods feeling legal heat for cooking worker to death

Creative Commons

Bumble Bee Foods is feeling the legal heat from Los Angeles prosecutors after being charged for accidentally cooking a worker to death in an industrial oven.

Prosecutors are charging the company and two of its managers with three counts of violating Occupational Safety & Health Administration rules.
Jose Melena was performing maintenance in a 35-foot-long oven at the company's Santa Fe Springs plant before dawn Oct. 11, 2012, when a co-worker, who mistakenly believed Melena was in the bathroom, filled the pressure cooker with 12,000 pounds of canned tuna and it was turned on.

When a supervisor noticed Melena, 62, was missing, an announcement was made on the intercom and employees searched for him in the facility and parking lot, according to a report by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. His body was found two hours later after the pressure cooker, which reached a temperature of 270 degrees, was turned off and opened.
The company could face a $1.5 million fine, while the two managers would be fined up to $250,000 and up to three years in prison.