STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCIES TO INVESTIGATE POTENTIAL CRIMINAL VIOLATIONS RELATED TO THE SALMONELLA OUTBREAK IN PEANUT BUTTER
The New Jersey trial lawyers at Keefe Law Firm have been investigating recent news of the serious harms and risks presented by a widespread outbreak of Salmonella throughout the United States linked to various peanut butter products including such items as candies, cakes, cookies, crackers, ice cream, snack bars and pet food. The recent total of individuals taken ill due to these contaminated products is now up to 529 people in 43 states and Canada.
Congressional and state officials have requested investigations of the potential criminal violations in the acts and conduct of the Georgia peanut processing plant of the Peanut Butter Corporation of America (PCA) from which the Salmonella contaminated peanut butter originated. The government has found that PCA may have violated food safety regulations by shipping products in 2007 and 2008 after internal tests found bacterial contamination. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found at least 12 incidents in which PCA’s Georgia plant found Salmonella in either ingredients or finished products. These Salmonella contaminated products should have been destroyed. Instead, PCA’s Georgia plant had the products tested by a different laboratory to obtain a clean test result and shipped them out for consumption. Such conduct completely ignored the plant’s own internal inspections, which first discovered the Salmonella contamination in the products.
Tommy Irvin, Georgia’s Agriculture Commissioner said, “They tried to hide it so they could sell it.” Congressional Representative Rosa De Lauro states that PCA’s actions could only be described as “reprehensible and criminal.” She said that “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.” Such statements suggest that profit was more important than safety in the Georgia plant of the Peanut Butter Corporation of America.
Unfortunately, the victims of this corporate misconduct have been mostly children. The Centers for Disease Control has determined that half of those individuals affected by the Salmonella contamination of peanut butter are children under 16 years old and 21% are children under 5 years old.
As the criminal investigations continue to discover the detailed acts and conduct taken by this company and the Georgia plant, Keefe Law Firm reminds you to check the FDA website to make sure you have not consumed any Salmonella contaminated products.
The New Jersey product liability attorneys at Keefe Law Firm are hard at work doing their part to protect the public from potentially dangerous food products as these Salmonella contaminated peanut butter products. If you or a loved one has used or is using one of these potentially harmful goods such as contaminated peanut butter and suffered injury you may have a legal claim or lawsuit related to these defective peanut butter products. Contact the New Jersey trial attorneys at Keefe Law Firm to see if they can help you with your potential food poisoning case.