Timeline of events in salmonella outbreak
Source of Article: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gQYuCheM8PNFc_4o2Opa_qnDdoMgD967VB080
A timeline of important events in the salmonella outbreak linked to
tainted peanuts at a Blakely,
_2006 — Four inspections by the Georgia Department of Agriculture cite numerous, repeated violations at the Blakely, Ga., plant of the Peanut Corp. of America, a peanut processing company and maker of peanut butter for bulk distribution to institutions, food service industries, and private label food companies. The violations include food residue buildup, storage on floors and the improper use of duct tape.
_Aug. 2007 — Three samples taken at PCA by the Georgia Department of Agriculture test negative for salmonella and pesticides.
_2008 — Seven tests performed for the company are positive for salmonella. In each case, after a retest is negative, the product is shipped.
_Sept. 8, 2008 — The first reported illnesses begin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
_Nov. 25, 2008 — The CDC, working with state and local partners, begins an epidemiological assessment of a cluster of salmonella cases reported from 12 different states.
_Dec. 21, 2008 — Shirley Mae Almer, 72, dies in
a nursing home in
_Jan. 8, 2009 — The Food and Drug Administration visits an
_Jan. 9, 2009 — The FDA and the Georgia Department of Agriculture initiate an environmental investigation at the PCA plant.
__ PCA voluntarily stops production of peanut butter and peanut paste at
_Jan. 10, 2009 — King Nut announces a recall of peanut butter manufactured by PCA and distributed under the King Nut label.
__ The Minnesota Departments of Agriculture and Health confirm that
laboratory analyses show a genetic match between the strains of salmonella
bacteria found in a container of King Nut brand creamy peanut butter and the
strains of bacteria associated with 30 illnesses in
_Jan. 13, 2009 — PCA announces a voluntary recall of peanut butter produced in its Blakely, Ga., processing plant on or after July 1, 2008, because of possible salmonella contamination.
_Jan. 16, 2009 — Food inspectors confirm the presence of salmonella
bacteria in an unopened five-pound tub of peanut butter found at a
__ PCA announces an expanded recall of peanut butter produced on or after Aug. 8, 2008, in its Blakely, Ga., processing plant as well as the voluntary recall of peanut paste produced in the same plant on or after Sept. 26, 2008, because of possible salmonella contamination.
_Jan. 18, 2009 — PCA expands the recall of peanut butter and voluntarily recalls peanut paste made at its Blakely, Ga., plant on or after July 1, 2008.
_Jan. 27, 2009 — The FDA finishes its investigation of the PCA plant and reports on its inspection. A list of problems observed by FDA investigators during their inspection is available at this link: http://www.fda.gov/ora/frequent/default.htm
__ Federal officials say PCA failed to tell inspectors that after samples sent to a contract lab for testing in 2007 and 2008 tested positive for salmonella, the company got a second opinion from another lab and sold the food after the secondary tests came back negative.
_Jan. 28, 2009 — PCA voluntarily recalls all peanuts and peanut products
processed in its Blakely,
__ As of 9 p.m. EDT, 529 persons infected with salmonella typhimurium are reported from 43 states, according to the
CDC. Additionally, one ill person is reported from
__ At least 431 peanut butter-containing products are recalled by 54 companies using ingredients produced by the PCA facility after July 1, 2008.
_Jan. 29, 2009 — A combination of epidemiological analysis and laboratory testing by state officials in Minnesota and Connecticut, the FDA, and the CDC enable the FDA to confirm that the sources of the salmonella outbreak are peanut butter and peanut paste produced by the PCA at its Blakely, Ga., processing plant.
__ The Ohio Department of Health says two containers of peanut butter
taken from a central
_Jan. 30, 2009 — Stephen Sundlof, head of the FDA's food safety center, says the Justice Department will investigate possible criminal violations by the PCA processing plant, assisted by FDA investigators.
_Feb. 2, 2009 — President Barack Obama promises a comprehensive review of the FDA.
__ The salmonella outbreak prompts voluntary recalls by makers of more
than 800 products. The recalls reach into
__ According to the CDC, 550 cases in 43 states are tallied, with the most recent reported illness beginning on Jan. 17, 2009.
_Feb. 3, 2009 — The Associated Press learns that a peanut processing plant in Plainview, Texas, run by the PCA has operated for years uninspected and unlicensed by government health officials.
_Feb. 5, 2009 — The U.S. Agriculture Department suspends PCA from participating in government contract programs for at least a year. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack removes Stewart Parnell, PCA president, from the USDA's Peanut Standards Board.
__ Federal officials say that nearly 168,000 emergency meal kits sent to
__ According to the CDC, 575 cases are counted in 43 states with the most recent reported illness beginning on Jan. 22, 2009.
_Feb. 6, 2009 — The Agriculture Department says that it shipped possibly
contaminated peanut butter and other foods to free school-lunch programs in
Sources: FDA, CDC, Associated Press articles
Edited by AP Researcher Julie Reed
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