Inspection reports from peanut plant varied widely

BLAKELY, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia health inspector who toured the peanut butter plant now at the center of a national salmonella outbreak noted only two minor violations in October.

Less than three months later, federal inspectors found roaches, mold, a leaking roof and other sanitation problems.

Food safety experts say the lapse is a major concern and shows state inspectors are spread thin and might need more training on how to spot unsanitary conditions.

Michael Doyle is head of the food safety center at the University of Georgia. He says he finds it surprising that many major deficiencies were observed at one time and none of them were picked up previously.

At least 529 people have been sickened as a result of the outbreak, and at least eight may have died because of it. More than 430 products have been recalled.

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