Corp shuts Texas
plant in salmonella scare
Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:09pm EST
Source of Article: http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE51880L20090210
DALLAS (Reuters) - Peanut Corp of America, at the center of a nationwide
salmonella scare, has shut its Texas
plant after tests showed possible contamination in some of its products,
health officials said on Tuesday.
One of the company's plants in Georgia has been identified as the source of
food poisoning that has sickened at least 600 people in 44 states and Canada, more
than half of them children, and may be linked to eight deaths.
The salmonella outbreak has forced one of the
biggest recalls in U.S.
history, involving more than 1,800 products ranging from snacks and ice cream
to dog treats.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said
Peanut Corp voluntarily closed its Plainview
facility on Monday evening "after laboratory tests of sample products
from the plant indicated the possible presence of salmonella in some."
"It does not appear that any of the implicated
products -- peanut meal, granulated peanuts and dry roasted peanuts -- have
reached consumers," it said in a statement.
FBI officials in Atlanta said on Monday they had joined the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a criminal probe of the company.
The outbreak is the latest in a series involving
tainted lettuce, peppers and spinach that have eroded public confidence in
food safety and renewed calls for change at the FDA by the Government
Accountability Office, consumer groups, the food industry, Congress and the
The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee
had a hearing scheduled for Wednesday on the issue.
A Peanut Corp spokeswoman was not available for
comment. The company has said it is cooperating with the FDA's investigation.
(Additional reporting and writing by Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago;
Editing by Maggie Fox and John O'Callaghan)