Peanut Corp. of America Knowingly Shipped Tainted Peanut Butter

The news about Peanut Corp. of America’s complete abandonment of food safety gets worse: now it seems that the company knew its peanut butter had salmonella, but shipped it anyway. When the product tested positive, the company shopped around for another lab to provide “acceptable” results.

Now, senior congressional and state officials are calling for a federal probe into whether these actions were criminal, according to USA Today.

The company’s actions “can only be described as reprehensible and criminal,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who oversees Food and Drug Administration funding, told USA Today. “Not only did this company knowingly sell tainted products, it shopped for a laboratory that would provide the acceptable results they were seeking. This behavior represents the worst of our current food safety regulatory system.”

In a statement on its website (warning: PDF), Peanut Corp. denies the charge:

PCA uses only two highly reputable labs for product testing and they are widely used by the industry and employ good laboratory practices. PCA categorically denies any allegations that the Company sought favorable results from any lab in order to ship its products.

“Officials want criminal probe of Peanut Corp. for shipping salmonella-tainted peanut butter” [NY Daily News] (Thanks to Daniel!)

“Salmonella Peanut Butter Plant Repeatedly Violated Health Codes”

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