January 31, 2009: Peanut Butter Salmonella Outbreak Update

Following are updates for the ongoing Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to Peanut Corporation of America’s peanut products.  It was a week filled with shocking disclosures regarding practices in the food industry, and underscores just how urgently our regulatory system needs repair. 

Updates for the PCA Salmonella outbreak, week of January 26, 2009:

  • The CDC reports 529 Salmonella illnesses and 8 deaths may be linked to Peanut Corporation of America’s (PCA) peanut butter and peanut products.
  • Because most of the tainted products were distributed to schools and other institutions, more than half of the outbreak victims are children.
  • Federal officials announce California, Idaho, and Minnesota were shipped peanut products that may have been tainted, as part of the National School Lunch Program.
  • All 8 deaths occurred in individuals over the age of 59, highlighting the vulnerability of the elderly to food poisoning complications.
  • PCA expands recall to include all whole peanuts (dry and oil roasted), granulated peanuts, peanut meal, peanut butter, and peanut paste.
  • Fifty-three companies recall more than 430 foods made with PCA peanuts and peanut products.
  • FDA inspection of the PCA Blakely, GA, processing plant reveals that on 12 occasions the company shipped Salmonella contaminated products to other food companies for use in the production of food products.
  • FDA inspection reveals that PCA failed to provide a safe manufacturing process that would have prevented the contamination of peanut products both during and after manufacturing.
  • FDA inspection reveals that numerous Salmonella species, including the S. Typhimurium serotype were isolated from product, equipment, and environmental surfaces at the PCA plant.
  • Investigative reporters reveal that in April of 2008, Canadian officials rejected a PCA shipment of chopped peanuts because it contained metal fragments.
  • Although federal food safety inspectors, follow-up on metal fragment issue, it is learned that they had not been to the Georgia plant since 2001.
  • FDA and US Justice Department announce criminal investigation of the PCA Salmonella outbreak.
  • President Obama’s administration pledges stricter oversight of food safety.

The Law Firm of Eric H. Weinberg is currently assisting individuals sickened in the Peanut Corporation of America peanut butter outbreak.  We are ready to help you.  If you believe that you were injured in this latest Salmonella outbreak, please submit a Free Case Evaluation Form, or call us toll free at 1-877-934-6274.