LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - New documents from the Food and Drug Administration confirm what NewsChannel 11 reported from state officials back in February. The salmonella outbreak linked to both the Plainview plant and the Blakley, Georgia plant has 677 reported cases in 45 states. The seven page FDA report released today is further proof of what state inspectors said weeks ago to NewsChannel 11 that the Plainview peanut plant just fell through the cracks.
Problem after problem detailed in the report released by the FDA after thoroughly investigating the Peanut Corporation of America plant in Plainview. Six dead mice in a crawl space above the ceiling over the kitchen. Rat droppings were found in several different places, some too numerous to count according to inspectors. Droppings found on a countertop and under the sink.
NewsChannel 11 introduced you to a peanut plant employee - that we call Daniel - who told us in February what it was like to work in the plant. "They wouldn't really care how the equipment got. They would just process the product and keep going and going and going and not actually clean the facility the way they were supposed to," says Daniel. His testimony confirmed what inspectors found. Build-up of gooey substances on a number of pieces of processing equipment. Ventilation equipment, operated in a way that compromised the integrity of the food and food contact surfaces. And probably the most shocking, products from where this mess began at the Peanut Corporation of America plant in Blakley, Georgia made their way to the Plainview plant awaiting shipment to customers, not properly labeled.
According to food laws, Peanut Corporation of America could face two types of charges, a misdemeanor and a felony. States where victims of tainted food were sickened or died can pursue manslaughter or negligent homicide charges as well.
To read the entire FDA report Click Here.
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Timeline of events in salmonella outbreak
A timeline of important events in the salmonella outbreak linked to tainted peanuts at a Blakely, GA plant.