Friday, January 30, 2009

Salmonella&EColi = Conservative Legacy

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!!


  1. Well, those people who got sick from eating that bad peanut butter probably got sick because they were too lazy or stupid to test the peanut butter themselves.

    Isn't that how it goes? We're all on our own and should only have the safety, security, home, fire dept., police force, roads, medical care, schools, etc. that we can afford?

    I'm just trying to get my arms around that kind of thinking. How am I doing?

  2. That pretty much sums up what I heard from my Right-Wing co-workers when I was working on a government contract.(They were all for cutting taxes even when that's where our paychecks came from, taxpayers by a round-about way.) Some of them said that cops, firemen, and teachers were paid too much and one said that the politicians were not paid enough for the fine job they were doing for us!!!!!

  3. OK - both you and Lisa have covered this one well. the entire scenario is freaky...and if criminal charges are NOT filed, there should be a massive outcry from the consumers and victims.

    word verification: pologic

    is that something I should be doing?

  4. all them bush cutbacks are coming back to bite us in the ass...we should sue him. don't be messing with my peanut butter dagnabbit

  5. How do you test peanut butter yourself? I opened a big jar of it a few days ago and I'm going to eat the whole jar, fuck it, life is too short to worry about all that crap and I know that I'm not here forever anyway.

    I like peanut butter and I'm going to keep eating it, if it kills me, so what? Hell, I've been here as Billy at least 30 years longer than I ever expected to be in the first place.

    Will the rest of the world miss me? Not likely, most of it doesn't even know that I, or you, or anyone else commenting here, even exist.

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