ATLANTA – Georgia-based food processors who don't conduct mandatory tests for contamination or hide the results would face thousands of dollars in fines under proposed regulations, according to The Associated Press. Georgia Department of Agriculture officials said on May 16 they are taking public comments on regulations implementing the fines, which were part of legislation passed by lawmakers. These regulations should be in place by early summer.

The fines add muscle to a law requiring food processors test for contamination and report problematic results to state authorities. Companies failing to test products as required could bring a $5,000 fine for each violation. Hiding a test showing contamination would cost $7,500 for every violation.

Knowingly shipping contaminated products in Georgia is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a maximum $20,000 fine.