Plainview Peanut Co. fined $14.6 million

by Eric Schroeder
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AUSTIN, TEXAS — The Texas Department of State Health Services has fined Plainview Peanut Co., L.L.C. $14.6 million in administrative penalties for alleged violations of state food safety regulations in connection with a Salmonella outbreak linked to the plant’s owner, the Peanut Corporation of America, earlier this year.

The T.D.S.H.S. said the alleged violations include "unsanitary conditions, product contamination, illnesses linked to consumption of peanuts from the plant and operating for almost four years without a food manufacturer’s license from the state."

Plainview Peanut, which closed the plant on Feb. 9, may now accept and pay the penalties, ask for an informal conference with the T.D.S.H.S. to discuss the allegations and penalties, or request a formal hearing before an administrative law judge to dispute the allegations or penalties.

Any funds collected will go to the state’s general revenue account, the T.D.S.H.S. said.

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