The latest salmonella outbreak has been the lead-off story on the local news because it was a Georgia peanut processing plant involved that caused it. There is an interesting article in the Washington Post about the plant. All products that are made with peanut butter and peanut paste from this plant in the last TWO years have been recalled!!
"The action came after federal officials discovered this month that the company, Peanut Corporation of America, knowingly shipped products contaminated with salmonella 12 times in 2007 and 2008, prompting a congresswoman to call yesterday for a criminal investigation by the Justice Department."
"But yesterday's move expands the recall to all peanut products that came out of the Blakely plant since Jan. 1, 2007. Federal officials said they do not know how many consumer products will be affected."
"The inspection reports, made public yesterday by the FDA, detail mold growing on a ceiling, rainwater leaking into the production area from skylights, gaps in the building where rodents could enter, dead roaches and inadequate ventilation, among other defects."
"The last time the FDA inspected the plant was in 2001, officials said yesterday. In 2006, the agency contracted inspections to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. State inspectors visited the plant about twice a year, but in 2008 they did not check for salmonella. The state inspection reports all seemed to play down deficiencies, saying all that was needed was routine follow-up."
All of us have heard of 'Doctor Shopping' by now, well this company went Lab Shopping. Whenever they found salmonella in their in-house testing they would send samples out to labs until they got a report back from one that said there was no salmonella. Instead of fixing the problem, they tried to fix the tests!!
All this reminds me of when I worked as a tester in Quality Control Lab (in name only) thirty five years ago in a factory that made ceiling tile. They were having problems meeting the Underwriters Laboratory's fire rating on one of their mineral fiber lay-in ceiling panels. The Plant Superintendent was talking about the problem with the head of the Lab. He kept saying that maybe the problem was the procedure for the tests and that they needed to look at the procedures. One of the inspectors was in the lab and said, "I know what the procedure is. If it is more than 3 pallets, sell it!!" The head of the lab turned to the Plant Superintendent and said, "I didn't tell him a thing."
Now it is one thing for a company to make a product that is border line on a fire rating and could at some time affect someone if a fire were to occur and something totally different for a company to knowingly ship a product they know is contaminated with salmonella to be put in the food that people eat!!!!!!
This is the Conservative Legacy at its finest. Keep cutting taxes and underfunding all the safeguards for the people in this country. You get what you pay for and you also get it in the end when you don't pay for it!!