The Food and Drug Administration has issued one of the largest food recalls in history. The FDA is asking retailers, manufacturers and consumers to throw out every product made in the past two years from peanuts processed by Peanut Corporation of America. The Georgia plant is at the heart of a deadly nationwide outbreak of salmonella illness. The action came after federal officials learned that, on 12 occasions during 2007 and 2008, the company has knowingly shipped salmonella contaminated products.
As a result, there have been 8 deaths and about 500 people in 43 states and Canada who have become ill. Two civil lawsuits are pending against the company.
FDA's Michael Rogers put the blame squarely on PCA's shoulder when he said the company violated good manufacturing practices by selling peanut products that had tested positive for salmonella bacteria in inspections commissioned by the firm. The recall includes all peanut products that came out of the Blakely, Georgia plant since January 1, 2007. It is unknown how many consumer products are affected.
Federal officials have identified four different strains of Salmonella at the plant. Health officials are working with companies supplied by Peanut Corporation of America to continually update a recall list that is available on the FDA's Web site. The company's plant produces peanut butter, paste, meal and granules that are used in products including ice cream, snack crackers and dog biscuits.