Experts for lawyers representing the victims of the Salmonella Typhimurium inspected both the Peanut Corporation of America’s Plainview, TX and Blakely, GA plants this week. With nine deaths and hundreds of illnesses linked to the Salmonella contamination found inside the PCA facilities, media attention on this week’s first inspections by outside experts was high.
Jennifer Emert at Georgia’s WALB News spoke to some of those experts and painted a sickening picture of the condition of the plants now associated with the largest recall of peanut products in U.S. history. Emert reported:
Pictures taken Thursday inside the Blakely Peanut Corporation of America plant, show disturbing images, a screwdriver left inside a machine where peanuts were stored. A small piece of wire inside the hopper with peanuts matching wire found inside the plant’s maintenance area, and that’s not all.
"When he pulled the bottom release door of the hopper and let some of the peanut product down there was a wasp and a beetle that was alive," said George Pearl, Alps Evidence & Photo President.
"A lot of grease, a lot of oil, a lot of peanut waste that’s trapped in pieces of equipment," said Roy Costa, a former Health Inspector.
The Plainview, Texas plant was worse with dead mice on the floor. Attorney Bill Marler and his team of six inspectors spent several hours looking the plant over from the leaks in the roof to the gaps in the bay doors.
Rodents and insects can spread the Salmonella bacteria. As of noon yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was reporting 3,913 peanut and peanut related products being on the recall list because they have ingredients from the PCA plants.
More from WALB here.