P.C.A. shipped product before receiving test results

by Keith Nunes
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BLAKELY, GA. — The Food and Drug Administration amended its investigation report into the manufacturing conditions and practices at the Peanut Corporation of America’s Blakely facility and has alleged that managers shipped product that tested positive for Salmonella to customers before receiving the results of follow-up tests.

On 10 separate occasions dating back to June of 2007, F.D.A. investigators found records showing that after the P.C.A. received test results showing a positive sample for Salmonella, the company would conduct a follow-up test, but ship product before the additional results were returned. The most recent event occurred on Aug. 11, 2008, when "creamy stabilized peanut butter" tested positive for Salmonella. The P.C.A. had two laboratories do follow-up tests that came back negative. Before receiving the results, the P.C.A. had shipped some of the product in question.

The P.C.A. also was informed last week that the investigation into the recall has been turned into a criminal matter and that the F.D.A.’s office of criminal investigations is conducting an ongoing investigation.

To date, 1,791 varieties of products manufactured by numerous companies have been recalled.

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