The government acknowledged Friday that a shipment of peanuts from the plant linked to a salmonella outbreak contained a “filthy, putrid or decomposed substance” later identified as metal fragments. The shipment was returned to the U.S. in April, months earlier than reflected in a federal tracking database.
The rejected shipment – coming across a bridge between New York and Canada – was logged by the Food and Drug Administration but never tested by federal inspectors, according to government records. The computer records show a mid-September date, just weeks before the earliest signs of the outbreak.
The FDA said Friday that the shipment of chopped peanuts from Peanut Corp. of America in Blakely, Ga., was destroyed after efforts between the FDA and Peanut Corp. broke down and the FDA rejected as “unacceptable” findings by a private lab hired by Peanut Corp. to analyze its peanuts.
“The shipment was refused by FDA for filth,” FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Kwisnek wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “The importer requested to destroy the product.”