A Congressional subcommittee recently held a hearing on its investigation into the salmonella outbreak linked to a U.S. peanut processing company. Salmonella found in peanut products that sickened over 500 people and caused the deaths of 8 people, was traced back to the Blakely, GA plant of the Peanut Corporation of America. The outbreak led to one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history. Stewart Parnell, president of Peanut Corporation of America, and Sammy Lightsey, manager of its Georgia plant, were subpoenaed to testify before Congress. However, at the hearing they both refused to testify, citing their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. According to Congressional investigators, Peanut Corporation of America shipped peanut products without waiting for salmonella test results to come back. There is also a federal investigation into whether the company deliberately shipped contaminated products. In addition to the Blakely, GA plant, Peanut Corporation of America recently closed its plant in Plainview, TX, after salmonella contamination was found there.
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