January 27, 2009
A South Georgia peanut processing plant linked to a national outbreak of salmonella had tested its products and found they contained the bacteria, yet still sold the products after retests were negative, federal food and drug officials said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The FDA said there were 12 instances where the Peanut Corporation of America tested peanut butter and peanut paste products in its own labs over the last two years and found the products were tainted, then had the products retested by another lab, officials said.
FDA officials said the company did not tell them about the tests when the agency started its investigation Jan. 9.
FDA officials said there are at least four strains of salmonella linked to the Blakely plant.
Products made from peanut butter and peanut paste from the plant have sickened more than 500 people across the country and in Canada and may have caused the death of eight people, the FDA said.