SWGA peanut butter plant cooperates with salmonella investigation - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

SWGA peanut butter plant cooperates with salmonella investigation

By Len Kiese - bio | email

January 13, 2009

BLAKELY, GA (WALB) - More than 400 people in 43 states have been sickened by a salmonella outbreak. The source may be tainted peanut butter from a manufacturer with a plant here in Southwest Georgia.

Peanut Corporation of America is based in Virginia but has a plant in Blakely, Georgia. Plant leaders tell WALB News Ten their main concern is the health of customers. They are cooperating with federal officials as they pull samples and conduct testing. Analysis should be be back by Wednesday or Thursday.

For now, peanut butter production is halted at the plant. About half the 46-employees have been put on leave so far and plant leaders fear layoffs soon.

To prevent more sickness, the distributor King Nut quickly decided to pull the peanut butter from distribution.

Federal officials are also investigating whether the salmonella caused three deaths.

Blakely Operations Manager Sammy Lightsey says none of the peanut butter was sold on store shelves. The product is sold to places like nursing homes and hospitals. Right now the plant is still producing products other than peanut butter.

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