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Worker Calls Georgia Peanut Plant 'Dirty, Nasty Place'
Stewart Parnell, president of the family-owned Peanut Corp. of America, was subpoenaed for a hearing Wednesday of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
WHAT'S SAFE TO EAT? Peanut Product Recall List
The investigation is starting to zero in on the question of who was responsible.
The plant cleaning woman, who didn't want to be identified, told WSB-TV Channel 2, "Everytime we went in there, there were cockroaches everywhere. It was dirty, dusty; it was a nasty place."
The company, now under FBI investigation, makes only about 1 percent of U.S. peanut products. But its ingredients are used by dozens of other food companies, and the list of recalls now tops 1,840 foods.
"Hopefully, people are going to be held accountable," said Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., chairman of the committee's investigations panel.
Stupak says he wants know how Peanut Corp. managed to sell allegedly tainted goods month after month without triggering action by state and federal health authorities.
Federal law forbids producing or shipping foods under conditions that could harm consumers' health.
Peanut Corp.'s troubles mounted this week as the FBI raided corporate headquarters in Lynchburg, Va., as well as the Georgia plant. On Monday night, the company closed a second facility, in Plainview, Texas, after test results earlier in the day indicated salmonella was present in samples taken at the Texas plant. None of the products had been distributed to consumers, but the finding raised the prospect of a broader recall.
Further testing is needed to confirm the results, said Doug McBride, spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.
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