U.S. food safety and the peanut factory - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-01-2009, 04:51 PM
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This is reminiscent of animal farming - regulations and public welfare (not to mention animal welfare) often seem to mean very little in the U.S.' industrial food system...



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A Georgia health inspector who toured the peanut butter plant now at the center of a national salmonella outbreak noted only two minor violations in October. Less than three months later, federal inspectors found roaches, mold, a leaking roof and other sanitation problems...



"It's surprising to me that that many major deficiencies were observed at one time, and none of these were picked up previously," said Michael Doyle, head of the food safety center at the University of Georgia...



Jonathan Prather, who said he worked in the plant's peanut butter room...said he sometimes saw old and soggy peanuts being used and other unsanitary conditions. When he raised concerns about the plant's cleanliness, Prather said he was ignored by managers.



"The only thing they said is, 'We'll handle this, we'll handle the problem,'" he said. "But I don't see that they did because if they had, none of this would have happened."...



A leaky roof would likely cause some concern for inspectors: After the 2007 salmonella outbreak was linked to a Georgia peanut butter plant operated by ConAgra Foods Inc., company officials said jars were contaminated when moisture from a roof leak and a malfunctioning sprinkler system mixed with dormant salmonella bacteria in the plant...



The 29-year-old Prather painted a grim picture of the facility, describing managers more concerned with the company's bottom line than with properly cleaning the plant and equipment.



He said both soggy peanuts and peanuts in packages marked with dates showing they were five or six years old were dumped into the production line. The American Peanut Council, an industry trade association, says peanuts need to be kept dry to prevent mold and other risks...

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...chDGwD9630UAO0

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#2 Old 02-01-2009, 07:51 PM
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This is just icky...and now I am not trusting what I am eating doesnt matter what it is..just too awful for words!!
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#3 Old 02-03-2009, 12:36 PM
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Im glad I eat peanut butter form the health food store, I can see the peanuts that the use.
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#4 Old 02-05-2009, 09:25 AM
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Such blatant apathy for public health makes me really uncomfortable in society.
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#5 Old 02-09-2009, 06:39 PM
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I think this will only make the peanut seem even more "evil."



It seems like it has become such a horrible food now since some tiny miniscule minority of people have an allergy to it. I hate that the majority must sacrifice to the minority. That is not democracy. But then again, veg*ns are the minority, so that's a tough issue.
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#6 Old 02-15-2009, 10:43 AM
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Its too bad that most people have no idea how limited the FDA's investigative capabilities really are. Basically, the FDA is able to validate or invalidate information self-reported by food and drug companies - and not much more.
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#7 Old 02-15-2009, 11:11 AM
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I had heard that many of the workers knew the problems as well and decided not to report about it. It seems that a lot of people are guilty in this case and hopefully justice will prevail.
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