Feds Start Criminal Probe Into Salmonella Outbreak

FDA, Justice Dept. team up for investigation of Georgia peanut plant
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2009 3:36 PM CST
Rep. Henry Waxman has called reps from two testing labs to testify before Congress.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The federal government has begun a criminal investigation into the peanut-driven salmonella outbreak, after it was revealed that a supplier shipped product that initially tested positive for the bacteria, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The House has called representatives from two testing labs, which certified negative results, to testify. Peanut Corp. of America denies it “sought favorable results from any lab.”

One lab president said she was not aware batches received for analysis had tested positive at the Blakely, Ga., plant being targeted by the Justice Department and the Food and Drug Administration. “We didn’t know the history of the samples when we got them,” she said. The FDA says that in 2007 and 2008, 12 batches from the Blakely facility were cleared after first testing positive.