A leaky roof at the Peanut Corporation of America’s Georgia plant is seen as a possible culprit for the recent salmonella outbreak, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Not only is water necessary to activate salmonella, but rain could have washed salmonella-carrying bird droppings into the plant. “Allowing water to get into a dry processing environment would be like putting gas on a fire,” one expert said.
Problems with the plant’s roof were reported as early as 2007, and even after repairs in late 2008, inspectors found gaps. “It rained in there,” one worker said. The PCA problems come after a leaky roof was implicated in a 2006 salmonella outbreak, which also originated in Georgia. “We need to get these companies to stop doing the same damn things over and over again,” a lawyer said.