GA plant manager: Safe products were hit or miss - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

GA plant manager: Safe products were hit or miss

Samuel Lightsey leaving court. Samuel Lightsey leaving court.
Sign at the Peanut Corporation of America Sign at the Peanut Corporation of America
Michael Parnell leaves the courtroom Michael Parnell leaves the courtroom
Stewart Parnell leaves the courtroom. Stewart Parnell leaves the courtroom.
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A former Peanut Corporation of America manager says the company's Blakely, GA plant, linked to a deadly salmonella outbreak, often shipped products without knowing if they were safe.

Former manager Samuel Lightsey confirmed in testimony Monday that documents pre-dating his time at the plant showed the company shipped products to others like Kellogg's using test results from previous samples.

He pleaded guilty to his role in the 2009 salmonella outbreak that killed nine and sickened more than 700, and agreed to testify against three other defendants.

Prosecutors reviewed documents with Lightsey, a star witness in the case, for six more hours Monday. They expect to continue Tuesday after confirming on at least four occasions that Kellogg's received untested products.

During testimony, Lightsey showed jurors the process PCA used to produce and ship peanut paste to Kellogg's without authentic certificates of analysis.

He repeatedly said that PCA "would not truly know if the food was safe for consumption," a point prosecutors wanted to highlight.

The defense will cross-examine him when the government finishes.

Former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) owner Stewart Parnell, his food broker brother Michael Parnell, and Georgia plant quality assurance manager Mary Wilkerson were indicted in February 2013, charged with shipping salmonella tainted peanuts and covering up lab results showing the nuts tested positive for the bacteria.

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