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Despite FDA confirming the contamination of salmonella at the Peanut Corporation of America’s (PCA) plant in Georgia and finding reports of about 12 other times where PCA had problems with salmonella, PCA claims they have done nothing wrong.

As a fellow consumer, this certainly bothers me. The peanut butter & salmonella outbreak is huge. It is now part of one of the nation’s largest recalls in history.

Because PCA claims they have done nothing wrong, I want to examine the events that lead to where we are now:

  • · First, Minnesota Health officials found salmonella in a five pound tub of peanut butter manufactured by PCA.
  • · Then, FDA initiated a major investigation which included PCA’s facilities. It was soon after that salmonella was confirmed at PCA’s Georgia facility.
  • · Then after PCA was placed in the spotlight, further investigations revealed PCA had 12 other incidences in the past couple of years with salmonella bacteria.
  • · FDA then revealed reports finding PCA’s Georgia plant in gross & dirty conditions: roaches, mold, and a leaking roof.
  • · Now, the most recent news comes from News Inferno today saying that PCA shipped the peanuts that tested positive for salmonella before the second round of tests were completed. Last week, PCA official stated the exact opposite: they told FDA the peanuts tested negative for salmonella in the second round of testing.
  • · Also, FBI has raided PCA’s Georgia plant and its Lynchburg, Virginia plant.

After all this, PCA is still saying they have done nothing wrong? This doesn’t seem right.

A local Virginia newspaper reported that PCA’s President, Stewart Parnell, & his family are keeping a low profile. He has not spoken publicly and has “repeatedly denied interview requests.” The newspaper notes, “Even the company’s Web site, which once boasted of Peanut Corp.’s history and gave details about its operations, has been deleted except for one page with a few press releases.”

Now, I look at what has happened because of the salmonella: 8 people have died and over 500 have been sickened. Do we deserve this?

Over the weekend in New Orleans, I discussed this issue with several law students and attorneys. A fellow friend & law student recommended that I raise this issue: Now that PCA’s Georgia plant is temporarily closed & the potential for a great amount of law suits to be filed against PCA is present, what do we do with the job situation? We are attacking PCA but at the same time, instead of creating jobs, we are taking away jobs. In our economy today & where it is headed, do we need this?

My answer was simple but not as well thought out: Safety comes first.

What do you think?

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