(Actually, Channel 11 in Georgia reported it first). 491 (Actually 501) persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 43 states and Canada. Eight are dead. According to the CDC, patients range in age from <1 to 98 years; 48% are female and 22% reported being hospitalized. Now the New York Times reports:
The processing plant in Georgia that produced peanut butter tainted by salmonella has a history of sanitation lapses and was cited repeatedly in 2006 and 2007 for having dirty surfaces and walls and grease residue and dirt build-up throughout the plant, according to state health inspection reports.
Inspections of the plant in Blakely, Ga., by the state agriculture department found areas of rust that could flake into food, gaps in warehouse doors large enough for rodents to get through, unmarked spray bottles and containers, and numerous violations of other practices designed to prevent food contamination….
A typical entry from an inspection report, dated Aug. 23, 2007, noted: “The food-contact surfaces of re-work kettle in the butter room department were not properly cleaned and sanitized." Additional entries noted: "The food-contact surfaces of the bulk oil roast transfer belt in the mezzazine [sic] room were not properly cleaned and sanitized. The food-contact surfaces of pan without wheels in the blanching department were not properly cleaned and sanitized.”
Criminal Sanctions in the offing in addition to Bankruptcy – I should think so. It will also be interesting to see any inspection reports from 2008. We now have been retained by 36 people throughout the United States unneccesarily poisoned by Salmonella.