February 12, 2009
The Texas Department of State Health Services today ordered Peanut Corporation of America to recall all products ever shipped from its Plainview plant. The order was issued after dead rodents, rodent excrement and bird feathers were discovered yesterday in a crawl space above a production area during an in-depth DSHS inspection.
The inspection also found that the plant’s air handling system was not completely sealed and was pulling debris from the infested crawl space into production areas of the plant resulting in the adulteration of exposed food products.
DSHS also ordered the plant, which began operations in March 2005, to stop producing and distributing food products. Though plant officials voluntarily stopped operations Monday night, the DSHS order prohibits the plant from reopening without DSHS approval.
State law allows DSHS to issue such orders when conditions exist that pose “... an immediate and serious threat to human life or health.”
Laboratory tests are being done on food and environmental samples from the plant, but DSHS officials said today’s orders are not contingent on finding Salmonella or other illness-causing organisms.
The orders were signed by DSHS Commissioner David Lakey, M.D.
(News Media: For more information contact Doug McBride, DSHS Press Officer, 512-458-7524.)