Salmonella Outbreak Bares Lethal Flaws in Oversight

Preplanned inspections, loose oversight kept company in business
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2009 1:52 AM CST

Angry salmonella victims and their families are asking how the government missed the Peanut Corporation of America's flagrant health violations that killed eight people, reports the New York Times. The company and government inspectors overlooked rodents, leaky roofs and lukewarm roasters, while minimum-wage temporary workers paid little attention to health code procedures, according to reports.

Low-cost peanuts have found their way into a myriad of food products in recent years, and clients like Kellogg have trusted peanut firms to follow safety regulations. But the law does not require companies to inform consumers or the government of salmonella outbreaks, and oversight by inspectors is poor. The government failed to act on a whistleblower's reports of a salmonella outbreak at another Georgia factory until three years later after hundreds of people were sickened. (More salmonella stories.)

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