A sticky peanut mess

In 2009, as you may recall, there was a salmonella outbreak caused by tainted peanuts. The peanuts ended up in peanut butter and many other products and sickened some 700 people, including Jacob Hurley, a Portland boy who was just three years old at the time. He got sick from eating Austin Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter. Nine people died from that outbreak.

The manufacturer behind the tainted peanut products was Peanut Corp. of America. The company has since gone bankrupt, but the U.S. Department of Justice aims to hold them responsible for the outbreak. It recently indicted several former executives of Peanut Corp., including owner Stewart Parnell and his brother Michael, who served as the company’s vice president. The charges claim Peanut Corp. was aware of the salmonella contamination but sold its products anyway.

Peanut Corp.’s peanut products were allegedly tainted with salmonella beginning in 2004. The FDA inspected the plant in 2009 and found unsanitary conditions and evidence of the salmonella coverup.