Gov't Launches Criminal Probe In Peanut Recall

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal officials say the government has opened a criminal investigation into the salmonella outbreak.

Stephen Sundlof, head of the Food and Drug Administration's food safety center, said Friday the Justice Department will investigate possible criminal violations by the Blakely, Ga., peanut processing
plant that shipped tainted products to dozens of other food companies.

More than 500 people have been sickened as a result of the outbreak, and at least eight may have died because of salmonella infections. More than 430 products have been recalled.

The company shipped products that initially tested positive for salmonella after retesting and getting a negative result. The FDA's
investigations branch will assist in the probe.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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