Possible salmonella at Plainview Peanut Plant - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/10/09

Possible salmonella at Plainview Peanut Plant

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Health officials say it appears the possible traces of salmonella linked to the Plainview plant have not reached consumers.   The Plainview plant is part of Peanut Corporation of America, the Georgia Company linked to the outbreak that has caused eight deaths and sickened 600 people nationwide.

A sign on the door at the Plainview Peanut Company reads temporarily closed. "I think it's important to note that it is voluntarily number one and two it's a temporary suspension and hopefully temporary would not be very long," said Mayor of Plainview John Anderson.   

Anderson says the plant employs 30 people, and has been in Plainview for nearly three years. "Plainview Peanut Corporation has been to this day a good corporate citizen to Plainview and we are pleased to have them here," said Anderson. 

Employees were on site Tuesday even though production stopped. They say their supervisors are not telling them much, but their duties on Tuesday were to clean the plant.

Executive Director of the Texas Peanut Producers Board Shelly Nutt says Peanut Corporation of America has scared the entire industry. "I've defended the plant in Plainview, we've toured it, it was so clean it was so well ran, so where did the traces of salmonella come from and I hope it's wrong, I hope these outside lab tests are completely wrong but I don't know at this point," said Nutt.   

Nutt says Peanut Corporation of America makes up less than 1 percent of the nation's overall production. "The largest recall in the history of the United States is happening right now in the peanut industry and all from one facility that produced a tiny, tiny fraction of the overall market," said Nutt. 

Nutt says she can't see this as just a temporary closing. "I don't know how they could pull out of this. I hate to say that because the company in Plainview is so good for the economy there and they may end up paying for the problems in Georgia and I hate that but I don't know how they can pull out of this," said Nutt.

Supervisors at the Plainview plant were not able to go on camera. They directed all questions to their corporate office, who released a statement saying the plant is temporarily closed.

FDA Peanut Butter Recalls
Click here for the latest from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the peanut butter/salmonella recall.
2/10/09
Texas peanut farmers feel nationwide salmonella outbreak
The salmonella scare is the latest blow to the South Plains peanut industry. Nearly half of all peanuts produced in Texas are produced right here in West Texas. NewsChannel 11's Ann Wyatt Little who met a long-time peanut farmer who says he's never seen anything like this.

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