Texas health officials order P.C.A. plant closed

by Keith Nunes
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PLAINVIEW, TEXAS — The Texas Department of State Health Services (D.S.H.S.) ordered the Peanut Corporation of America to close its Plainview facility and recall all products manufactured at the facility since March 2005 after an inspection identified violations to the state’s health code. The facility manufactures dry roasted peanuts, oil roasted peanuts, granulated peanuts and peanut meal, according to the D.S.H.S.

Specifically, an inspection of the facility by state health officials found dead rodents, rodent excrement and bird feathers in a crawl space above a production area. The inspection also found that the plant’s air handling system was not completely sealed and pulling debris from the infested crawl space into production areas of the plant resulting in the adulteration of exposed food products.

The D.S.H.S. also ordered the plant, which began operations in March 2005, to stop producing and distributing food products. Though plant officials voluntarily stopped operations Monday night, the D.S.H.S. order prohibits the plant from reopening without D.S.H.S. approval.

On Feb. 10, the P.C.A. said it had temporarily stopped production at the facility as the D.S.H.S. and the F.D.A. conducted their investigations.

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