Plant Found Salmonella, Still Sold Peanut Products

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2009 9:05 PM CST
This file photo shows the Peanut Corp. of America plant in Blakely, Ga.   (AP Photo/Elliott Minor)
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(Newser) – The plant in Georgia implicated in the latest salmonella outbreak knowingly sold peanut products even after its own tests turned up evidence of the bacteria, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The plant's internal labs showed evidence of salmonella 12 times in the past two years, but the company sold the products after an outside lab deemed them safe, say federal investigators.

The company broke the law by not immediately destroying the products after its own tests turned up positive, says the FDA. The agency obtained internal company records through Homeland Security rules. Investigators have found four different strains at the Peanut Corporation of America. More details will be released tomorrow. The outbreak has sickened about 500 people in 43 states, most of them children, and is blamed for eight deaths.