Georgia Peanut Plant Has History of Health Violations

Facility cited by regulators for dirty surfaces, other infractions in '06, '07
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2009 3:08 PM CST
In this undated photo, a container of King Nut peanut butter is seen. Lab tests found salmonella in the open 5-pound container of peanut butter from a Minnesota nursing home.    (AP Photo/Minnesota Department of Health)
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(Newser) – The Georgia plant at the center of an expanding recall of peanut products has a history of health violations, the New York Times reports. The salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 500 nationwide came from the Blakely facility cited in 2006 and 2007 for dirty surfaces and a variety of other contamination issues.

“If there is a record of habitual violations of food safety standards, the FDA should have initiated strenuous enforcement action,” a spokesman for a food-safety watchdog said of the Peanut Corp. of America. “This company needed more scrutiny. If this plant was in fact so dirty, they were asking for trouble.”