Based on allegations that Peanut Corporation of America has knowingly sold peanut butter containing salmonella, USDA has announced the immediate one year suspension of PCA and its subsidiary Tidewater Blanching LLC from doing business with the federal government. Effective immediately, PCA can not participate in government contracts or subcontracts, as well as federal non procurement programs. PCA will also be excluded from doing business as agents or representatives of other contractors, including serving as a subcontractor to other individuals or companies doing business with the U.S. government.
Federal agencies are required to only conduct business with responsible contractors. PCA is being suspended, and its debarment is proposed, based on reports of evidence obtained by Minnesota and Connecticut state officials, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that the sources of a current outbreak of illnesses caused by Salmonella are peanut butter and peanut paste produced or processed by PCA.
In a separate action, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack removed Stewart Parnell, President and CEO of the Peanut Corporation of America, as a member of USDA's Peanut Standards Board. The Board advises the Secretary on quality and handling standards for domestic and imported peanuts marketed in the United States.