AP Exclusive: Bad peanuts found before outbreak

WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal government is acknowledging that a shipment of peanuts by the plant linked to a salmonella outbreak contained a "filthy, putrid or decomposed substance" later determined to be metal fragments.

That shipment was returned to the U.S. from Canada in April, months earlier than reflected in a federal tracking database.

According to government records, the rejected shipment was logged by the Food and Drug Administration but never tested by federal inspectors.

The incident took place in mid-September, the records show, weeks before the earliest signs of the salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 500 people in the United States and may have killed at least eight.

(Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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