After salmonella, Georgia officials defend inspectors

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia's top agriculture officials are defending
the state's inspection process at a legislative hearing called to
address the salmonella outbreak traced to a Georgia peanut
processing plant.

The process came under fire after a state inspector found only
minor problems when she probed the Blakely plant in October. Less
than three months later, federal agents found roaches, mold, a
leaking roof and other problems.

Lawmakers responded to the outbreak by passing legislation that
would make Georgia the first state to require that food makers
swiftly alert state inspectors if internal tests show their
products are tainted. That proposal is awaiting Gov. Sonny Perdue's
signature.

Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin said such legislation would
likely have "been impossible to pass" before the outbreak.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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