AP Exclusive: Bad peanuts found before outbreak

WASHINGTON (AP) - Peanuts exported by Peanut Corp. of America
were found to be contaminated and returned to the U.S. weeks before
the earliest signs of a national salmonella outbreak.

The Associated Press has learned that the Food and Drug
Administration logged the rejected shipment but never inspected it.

The FDA prevented the chopped peanuts from the company's plant
in Blakely, Georgia, from being allowed into the U.S. in
mid-September. According an FDA report of the incident, the peanuts
contained an unspecified "filthy, putrid or decomposed substance,
or is otherwise unfit for food."

The FDA said it couldn't provide details about the incident.
Lynchburg, Virginia-based Peanut Corp. of America didn't
immediately respond to AP's request for comment.


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