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Company that sold tainted peanut products blasted

 
Gazmik
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User ID: 487277
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01/28/2009 03:38 PM
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Company that sold tainted peanut products blasted
By DAVID SHAFFER, Star Tribune
January 28, 2009

A lawyer who has been suing food companies for 15 years says he's never seen anything like it.

Even the peanut industry's trade group is shocked.

Those are some of the first reactions to U.S. Food and Drug Administration findings Tuesday that the Georgia peanut butter plant linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak shipped products to customers even though initial tests found them contaminated with the bacteria.

"The findings of the FDA report can only be seen as a clear and unconscionable action of one irresponsible manufacturer, which stands alone in an industry that strives to follow the most stringent food safety standards," said Patrick Archer, president of the American Peanut Council in a statement. He went on to say "this apparent failure to follow food safety regulations must be condemned in the strongest possible terms."

[...]

Bill Marler, a Seattle attorney who has been suing food makers for years on behalf of sick people and has looked at countless inspection reports, said he's never seen one on which a company is accused of shipping out products that tested positive.

"It's insane," he said. "You have to ask, what are these people thinking when the product is going into institutional settings with kids and older people? It's just unconscionable."

[...]

The Minnesota Health Department in late December and early January traced the souce of illlnesses to peanut butter from the plant and sold by an Ohio distributor to long-term care facilities. FDA investigators began checking the Blakely plant on the day Minnesota issued the first alert about the source.

The inspectors found significant deviations from good manufacturing practice that "had an adverse affect on the quality of that product, making it adulterated, said Michael Rogers, director of regional investigations for the FDA.

He said a team of federal and state inspectors "identified approximately 12 instances in 2007 and 2008 where the firm as part of their own internal testing program identified some type of salmonella and released a product after it was retested in some cases by a different laboratory."

The FDA did not immediately release the inspector's written report, but Marler obtained a copy on his own, and posted it on his website. The report offers nine examples of unsafe practices including:

• Storing raw peanuts, which potentially contain pathogens not killed by roasting, next to processed ones.

• Using a conveyor belt made of felt, which "cannot be adequately cleaned or sanitized."

• Keeping inadequate record of the temperatures used in roasting to assure they are high enough to kill organisms on the nuts.

• Allowed water to leak into the plant from skylights and air conditioner intakes. This finding could be significant because leaking water is thought to be the source of the only other peanut butter salmonella outbreak. The problem occurred at another Georgia peanut butter plant in 2006 and led to the first-ever U.S. recall of peanut butter products.

[link to www.startribune.com]
locomotion
User ID: 579848
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01/28/2009 04:14 PM
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Re: Company that sold tainted peanut products blasted
Oh man that's just harsh. (NOT)

Everyone is shocked, but I'm not gonna hold my breath waiting for anyone in authority to do more than act shocked.

Way to cripple yet another industry in America through greed and malfeasance.
Anonymous Coward
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01/28/2009 04:21 PM
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Re: Company that sold tainted peanut products blasted
I'm shocked scream
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 11158
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01/28/2009 04:26 PM
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Re: Company that sold tainted peanut products blasted
Years ago an American drug company somehow made a very large batch of Aspirin that was contaminated with the AIDS virus. The FDA would not allow the company to sell the infected drug to Americans so they sold it to Europe. Thousands were infected because the company wanted to turn a disastrous mistake into a profit.
locomotion
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01/28/2009 04:29 PM
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Re: Company that sold tainted peanut products blasted
I'm shocked scream
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 602951


lol
Ah, you must be in a position of authority?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 602951
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01/28/2009 04:48 PM
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Re: Company that sold tainted peanut products blasted
The real problem here is apathy. No one gives a shit so they just let go, until we have a problem like this. It's the co. that's at fault.
Navajo Nights
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01/28/2009 05:13 PM
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Re: Company that sold tainted peanut products blasted
Years ago an American drug company somehow made a very large batch of Aspirin that was contaminated with the AIDS virus. The FDA would not allow the company to sell the infected drug to Americans so they sold it to Europe. Thousands were infected because the company wanted to turn a disastrous mistake into a profit.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 11158


How the hell can you contract AIDS like that? For that matter, how could the virus get into the pills and then survive their processing? Deliberately? It's not that I have trouble believing big industry would sell products elsewhere that were banned in America, I just don't see how anybody in Europe or anywhere could have got infected by taking those aspirins. You may have read the rumor someplace, but I doubt there's any truth to it. It is good GLP, however, to believe there's a government plot behind every virus on earth.
locomotion

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01/28/2009 05:26 PM
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Re: Company that sold tainted peanut products blasted
The real problem here is apathy. No one gives a shit so they just let go, until we have a problem like this. It's the co. that's at fault.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 602951


Yes, greedy company officials start the problem.

But

We pay and authorize the FDA to 'give a shit'. Along with great power comes great responsibility.

If it is just up to the individual companies to produce safe food, we really are in a world of hurt for our food supply, cuz all it takes is one greedmeister to produce this kind of a deadly mess.

FDA needs to do its job, pull unannounced inspections of all food processing plants, document and report to the higher ups any problems found. Then follow through and close them up if they don't clean up their act!

There's just too much at stake here to allow apathy, incompetence or cronyism to win the day.

If more inspectors are what's needed, well there ya go - new job openings!
If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately. ~Thomas Paine

I've been dead before. ~Spock, The Unknown Country (PEACE)

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