January 28, 2009
The Food and Drug Administration today announced a massive expansion of the peanut butter recall linked to salmonella poisoning after shocking revelations that a Georgia plant knowingly shipped peanut products that could have been tainted.
The FDA announced that a closed Georgia peanut processing plant will recall every single peanut product it made in the past two years. The expansion means that the number of recalled food and pet treats -- already in the hundreds -- will continue to grow.
Health officials today said the recall is among the largest ever. Eight deaths and 501 illnesses in 43 states are now thought to be linked to the salmonella outbreak.
The broadened recall comes after a scathing FDA inspection report suggested the plant in Blakely, Ga., owned by Peanut Corporation of America, knowingly sent out peanut products that may have been tainted with salmonella.
"If this doesn't rise to a criminal level I don't know what does," food safety attorney Bill Marler told ABC News on Wednesday. Marler is suing the company on behalf of one consumer.