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More than 3,490 products have been recalled, including some Kellogg's Austin and Keebler peanut butter sandwich crackers. The Georgia plant has been shut down and its owner, Peanut Corp. of America, is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department.
FDA inspectors swooped down on the Georgia plant in January and found multiple sanitary violations. The problems included moisture leaks, improper storage and openings that could allow rodents into the facility. FDA tests found salmonella contamination within the plant. After invoking bioterrorism laws, the FDA obtained Peanut Corp. records that showed the company's own tests repeatedly found salmonella in finished products.
How persistent problems at the Georgia plant managed to escape the attention of state inspectors and independent private auditors is one of the main unanswered questions in the investigation.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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