Ga. Peanut Plant Chief: We Faked Salmonella Tests

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) -- A Georgia peanut plant manager says he knew his company was submitting false lab tests to its customers before a nationwide salmonella outbreak killed nine Americans and sickened more than 700 people five years ago.

Sammy Lightsey testified during the federal trial of his former boss Stewart Parnell, the owner of the Peanut Company of America. Parnell and two others are charged with knowingly shipping tainted food and covering up lab tests that showed salmonella.

Lightsey managed the plant in Blakely, Georgia, from July 2008 until the outbreak forced it to shut down and go bankrupt. He pleaded guilty to seven federal counts in May after agreeing to testify for prosecutors.

He told jurors Friday that the plant shipped contaminated paste with documents showing clean tests from other batches.


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