Peanut company in salmonella probe shuts 2nd plant

By JIM DRINKARD,Associated Press Writer

Posted by Nick Dutton -

ATLANTA (AP) - The company at the center of an investigation into a deadly national salmonella outbreak has suspended operations at a second peanut processing plant.

Peanut Corporation of America said in a statement Tuesday it is voluntarily suspending operations at its Plainview, Texas, plant while state and federal health officials complete an investigation into procedures and food safety records there.

Peanut Corp. already closed a Georgia plant identified as the source of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 600 people in 44 states and may have contributed to eight deaths. Ohio has reported 89 cases.

An Associated Press investigation last week revealed that the Texas plant operated for years uninspected and unlicensed by state health officials.

FBI raids Ga. plant at center of salmonella scare

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal agents have raided a Georgia peanut processing plant linked to the nationwide salmonella outbreak, hauling away boxes and other material.

A senior congressional aide with knowledge of the raids said the FBI executed search warrants Monday at both the plant in Blakely, Ga., and at Peanut Corp. of America's headquarters in Lynchburg, Va.

The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Atlanta television station WSB's cameras captured FBI agents entering the facility and leaving with the boxes.

The FBI didn't immediately return a message seeking comment on the raids.

The salmonella outbreak has sickened 575 people and may have caused as many as eight deaths.

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