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Canada Rejected Plant's Tainted Peanuts

Firm tried to export unsuitable food weeks before current salmonella outbreak
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 30, 2009 10:50 AM CST
Canada Rejected Plant's Tainted Peanuts
A peanut monument adorns the square in front of the Early County Courthouse in Blakely, Ga., Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009.    (RIC FELD)

(Newser) – Weeks before the earliest signs of a national salmonella outbreak that now has been traced to peanuts from a Georgia processing plant, peanuts exported by the same company were found to be contaminated and were returned to the United States. The rejected shipment—coming over the US border across a bridge between New York and Canada—was logged by the FDA but never tested by federal inspectors.

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The chopped peanuts from Peanut Corp. of America in Georgia had an unspecified "filthy, putrid or decomposed substance, or is otherwise unfit for food," says an FDA report of the incident in September. It is not known whether the peanut shipment ultimately was destroyed or sent somewhere else. (Read more salmonella stories.)

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