FDA knew of hazards at faulty plants
Apr 23,2007 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration admitted it knew of contamination problems for years at various food plants from which products were recalled.

The FDA knew about problems at a peanut butter plant in Georgia and on California spinach farms that led to disease outbreaks that killed three people and sickened hundreds, The Washington Post reported. The subsequent recall of bagged spinach was one of the biggest recalls in U.S. history.

The FDA admitted that, overwhelmed by the growth in the number of food processors, the agency took only limited steps in ensuring the safety of the food.

The Post reported last week that the FDA notified California health officials of hogs that may have ingested melamine, a hazardous chemical blamed for the deaths of dozens of pets that was involved in a recall of more than 100 brands of pet food. Pork from the farms has reportedly been recalled for fear it may also harm humans.

The unprecedented number of recalls is being seen as a sign that the FDA needs to improve its food safety and protection measures, the Post said.

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