Dead rodents, excrement in peanut butter plant lead to recall

Authorities issued a recall for all peanut products shipped from a plant in Plainview, Texas.
The Texas Department of State Health Services on Thursday ordered the recall of all products ever shipped from the Peanut Corporation of America’s plant in Plainview, Texas, after discovering dead rodents, rodent excrement and bird feathers in the plant.

The order, which applies to products shipped since the plant opened nearly four years ago, came a day after the discovery of filth in a crawl space above a production area during a health services inspection, the department said in a news release. Inspectors also reported that the plant’s ventilation system was pulling debris “from the infested crawl space into production areas of the plant resulting in the adulteration of exposed food products,” the release said.

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Officials at the plant, which opened in March 2005, voluntarily stopped operations Monday night. Under the order, they are not allowed to resume operations without health services approval. The company’s peanut butter and peanut paste products produced at its plant in Blakely, Georgia, have been linked to a nationwide outbreak of salmonella poisoning that has affected 600 people, killing nine. A call to the company’s telephone number, which was working earlier this week, elicited a recording that said it was no longer in service.