Steeper penalties than fines are needed to enforce food safety laws, added Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), according to the Times report.
The latest revelations follow a flurry of actions and reactions to the ongoing outbreak.
Last week, President Barack Obama ordered a comprehensive review of the FDA, saying he did not think the agency moved fast enough on the latest outbreak.
Obama said Americans should be able to count on the government to keep children safe when they eat peanut butter, the AP reported.
Obama's action followed launch of a criminal investigation by the Justice Department into the Georgia plant.
Meanwhile, the recalls of peanut products made at the plant during the last two years continued to mount.
As of Friday, more than 1,300 foods have been recalled by hundreds of companies. The recalls cover everything from cookies, crackers, cereal and candy to ice cream, trail mix and dog treats.
But also on Friday, the CDC confirmed what had been presumed for the past few weeks: Major brands of peanut butter on store shelves are safe.
The U.S. criminal investigation also follows disclosure by FDA officials last week that, from 2007 into 2008, the company shipped peanut butter that it knew had been contaminated with salmonella.
In related news, schools in three states were sent potentially contaminated peanut products for a free lunch program in 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Friday.
Peanut butter and roasted peanuts processed by PCA were sent to schools in California, Idaho and Minnesota, the AP reported. So far, there have been no illnesses.
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