MANHATTAN, KAS. — Food plant inspections conducted by AIB International are a "time-proven invaluable management tool for the enhancement of food safety in North America and around the world," said James R. Munyon, president and chief executive officer of AIB International, Manhattan. AIB this week was pulled into the controversy surrounding a Salmonella outbreak when the Peanut Corporation of America said its Blakely, Ga., plant had "regular visits and inspections." Because of confidentiality agreements, AIB said it was unable to comment specifically on its inspections of the Blakely plant adding that the P.C.A. was free to release the full report. Press reports have stated that the plant received a "superior" rating from AIB. William E. Pursley, vice-president of food safety and international development at AIB, said while a superior score means "no serious or unsatisfactory observations were made," during the inspection, the rating also frequently is accompanied by findings that "improvement is needed" which, if unaddressed could lead to a "program failure." Looking at a score or rating alone isn’t enough, Mr. Pursley said. Assessing any inspection should take into consideration the score and label in the context of the entire report, he said.