WASHINGTON – A criminal investigation has been opened in regards to the recall of products manufactured by the Peanut Corporation of America, Lynchburg, Va., according to officials from the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the F.D.A., said his agency and the U.S. Department of Justice will investigation possible criminal violations at the P.C.A.’s Blakely, Ga., manufacturing facility.
The revelation comes a day after the F.D.A. released the report of its investigation the agency conducted after the national Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak was traced to the Blakely plant. In the report, F.D.A. officials said managers at the plant had received laboratory tests showing Salmonella contamination in product, but they had the product retested and when the results came back negative they shipped it to customers.
In a statement released Jan. 28, the P.C.A. denied "allegations that the company sought favorable results from any lab in order to ship its products."