"The FDA team identified 12 instances where the firm, as part of its own internal testing program, identified some type of salmonella and released a product after it was retested," Michael Rogers, director of FDA's division of field investigations in the Office of Regional Operations, said Tuesday.
Inspection reports released Wednesday from FDA investigators at the plant two weeks ago cite a litany of safety and sanitation problems and a trail of products that were sent out after being retested to clear the salmonella contaminants.
The investigation cited roaches, mold and signs of a leaking roof among numerous problems inspectors uncovered.
At Wednesday's teleconference, Rogers elaborated.
"The plant was not in compliance with good manufacturing practices, required by the FDA," he said. "Inspection reveled that this firm was shipping adulterated products."
But he added that it is unclear at this point what enforcement action the FDA will take. The first step is to work with the company to fix the problems before making a final determination as to what to do, he said.
Reaction elsewhere was less muted.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who oversees FDA funding, said Wednesday that Peanut Corp.'s actions "can only be described as reprehensible and criminal," according to the AP.
"Not only did this company knowingly sell tainted products, it shopped for a laboratory that would provide the acceptable results they were seeking. This behavior represents the worst of our current food safety regulatory system," DeLauro added.
The American Peanut Council also reacted strongly to the disclosures made Tuesday.
"The findings of the FDA report can only be seen as a clear and unconscionable action of one i
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