According to inspection records, a Georgia peanut company carried on delivering peanut products while knowing full well that they were probably tainted with salmonella. The law, in any country on this planet, forbids the sale and distribution of foods that knowingly may harm human health.
For their own convenience and risk to everybody else, the Peanut Corp. of America allowed possibly tainted shipments to continue while further tests were carried out to confirm positive salmonella readings from the first test, says the FDA. There is confusion from the FDA – one report indicates that the Peanut Corp. of America waited for a second test before continuing shipments, while a second report says that products were shipped before receiving the results of the second test. The second test confirmed the presence of salmonella.
This example of protecting business before human health has shocked many consumers in the USA and around the world.
The Peanut Corp. of America received confirmation in 2007 from private laboratory tests that salmonella was present in its peanuts. Later, shipments of chopped peanuts went ahead on July 18th and 24th of the same year – after the first test confirmed salmonella and before the results of the second test results came in.
Michael Rogers, head of field investigations, FDA, said “In some instances, peanut products were shipped by (the company) prior to having assurance that the products were negative for salmonella.”
According to Rogers, these discoveries were made after the FDA checked the company’s records more carefully.
So far, eight people have died in the USA as a result of the current salmonella peanut outbreak. 575 people have become ill in over 40 states. Nobody knows how many people really became ill, as it is possible not all illnesses were reported. Over 1,500 brands have been recalled.
The outbreak has had a devastating effect on the US peanut industry. While American consumers have been shunning most brands of peanut butter, shoppers around the world have been specifically looking for the USA as a product source as data for not buying. According to emails coming in to Medical News Today from around the world, America’s reputation as a source of safe nutritional products is in tatters. It will take a long time for that to be recovered. As one consumer from England wrote in “I have never worried about USA sourced foods, until the last couple of years…..If the food today says USA, and I can’t cook it, I don’t buy it – no matter what it is.”
Comment by Christian Nordqvist, Editor, Medical News Today “When alarming facts are revealed by competent authorities, consumers understandably react with apprehension. I, as a consumer and an Englishman who lives in England, still have complete faith in American products. America’s authorities have discovered the truth – an example of a country with competent and rigorous regulatory agencies. This could have happened anywhere – but might not have been discovered so openly everywhere on this planet.”
Source – FDA
Written by – Christian Nordqvist