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Associated Press reported yesterday that Tommy Irvin, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner called for a new state division. The division would focus on food safety monitoring “in the wake of a widespread salmonella outbreak linked” to Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) Georgia plant.

Of course, this comes after salmonella bacteria was confirmed at PCA’s Georgia plant and investigators found the plant in gross conditions—roaches, leaking roof, and mold.

With a division focusing on food safety monitoring, it enables more attention to be placed on food safety than there has been in the past.

PCA is now under a criminal investigation. The company’s internal records showed problems with salmonella about a dozen times.

Governor Sonny Perdue said Wednesday that he supported criminal charges if PCA knowingly broke food safety laws. The Georgia Bureau of investigation is currently reviewing whether PCA violated state laws.

The Governor told hundreds of agriculture leaders, “When we have people who don’t take that responsibility seriously, when we have people who violate that sacred chain of command in food safety, then something must be done.”

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