The tainted peanut butter crisis has now taken a human toll, with at least eight deaths being linked to the salmonella outbreak. And now it turns out the deaths could have been preventable.
The FDA revealed on Wednesdaythat at least 12 times over the past two years, the Georgia-based Peanut Corporation of America had released products for consumption after they tested positive for salmonella – but then tested negative in a second test.
Consumer advocates are outraged. The FDA also alleges the company took no steps to improve its facilities after salmonella was found in its plant, which is a clear violation of the law.
Food health experts say this salmonella outbreak should have been caught long ago. “Currently the federal and state programs that exist for food-borne disease detection and for early and rapid investigation are just broken and we need to get them fixed,” says Dr. Michael Osterhold of the University of Minnesota.