More Peanut Corp. of America recalls: 3 Flavors of Alaska Canine Cookies

March 13, 2009

peanut-corp_logoThe peanut butter, “power-bone” and carrot cake flavors of Alaska Canine Cookies are among the latest dog treats being recalled due to possible Salmonella Typhimurium  contamination. Source.

They were all manufactured with re-called batches of peanuts processed at the Blakely, Georgia processing facility of the now bankrupt Peanut Corporation of America. This plant, operating since 2005 had never been licensed and was never inspected. Yet is was contributing to America’s food supply.

It is alleged that PCA plant managers shipped peanuts that tested positive for salmonella a dozen times in 2007 and 2008. Inspectors also found unsanitary conditions: mold, roaches, a leaking roof, dead rodents, rodent excrement, and bird feathers in a crawl space above a production area. And it was contributing to America’s food supply. Source.

In Bankcruptcy court in Lynchburg, VA owner Stewart Parnell and family members put on a dumb show. He plead the Fifth, his right not to give self-incriminating evidence, when asked if he knowingly shipped salmonella-tainted peanut products from his plants in Blakely, Georgia and Plainview, Texas.

He answered, “I don’t know” to routine business questions and left most of the talking to his daughter, Grey Adams, the firm’s bookkeeper, claiming that “she knows more than I do” about the plant’s operation.

On the stand Ms. Adams was unable to tell the court the salary her mother was paid as office manager. When asked if the  company paid dividends to its stockholder from their $20 million in sales in 2008, she replied, “What’s a dividend?” Source. Does it seem like the extended Parnell family suddenly came down with a severe case of the Stupids?

The numbers: Since Jan. 12th  2009, 3,420 products containing peanut ingredients processed by Peanut Corporation of America have been recalled. They include snacks, peanut butter, brownies, cakes, pies, ice cream, candy, cereal, cookies, crackers, donuts, and pet food and treats. 683 people in 46 states have been sickened, a quarter of them requiring hospitalization and 9 have died — although these deaths have not yet been linked definitively to the salmonella outbreak. Source.

Another number: Total cost of this outbreak? In excess of $1 billion, said Don Koehler, executive director of the Georgia Peanut Commission while speaking before a House small business subcommittee. Source.

The big question: how are we going to secure the safety of the American food supply chain in the 21st century?



Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.