A federal magistrate judge has recommended approval of a $12m settlement for those who became ill or died after eating salmonella-tainted peanut products from the Peanut Corporation of America last year.
The US peanut harvest is now underway and, eight months after salmonella-tainted peanut products led to one of the biggest recalls in US history, the National Peanut Board says the recession has boosted demand.
FDA authorities finally served an inspection warrant on a New Jersey snack manufacturer on Wednesday 18 days after it refused to recall products containing peanuts supplied by the Peanut Corporation of America.
The American Peanut Council said it is working hard to encourage manufacturers to continue to use peanuts and protect the industry’s reputation which suffered at the hands of one rogue company after a salmonella outbreak.
A glut of peanuts on the back of a bumper crop could come as a blessing for food manufacturers, providing a supply of peanuts for those who eventually wish to replace products that have been discarded.
The US Food and Drug Administration joined the Justice Department on Friday in a criminal investigation of the PCA, the manufacturer at the center of a salmonella outbreak which has sickened 529 people and may have caused eight deaths.
Legislation unveiled in the House of Representatives this week would increase Food and Drug Administration powers and the frequency of safety inspections – but would require industry to cover the cost.