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The food industry’s self-policing system failed to catch poor conditions at a peanut processing plant blamed for a nationwide salmonella outbreak, lawmakers said Thursday. The House Energy and Commerce investigations subcommittee released new documents and pictures Thursday that attested to long-standing sanitary problems at facilities owned by Lynchburg, Va.-based Peanut Corp. of America. The company is at the center of a nationwide outbreak that has sickened nearly 700 people and is being blamed for at least nine deaths.

Source: WSJ

Date: 3/19/2009

Keys: operations management, ethical and legal issues, government


Questions for discussion:

  • Do you think government agencies or the businesses in an industry should be responsible for the control of the nation’s food supply?
  • What would you suggest is a better approach than the current system?
  • Should the business people involved at Peanut Corp. be held legally accountable for damages caused by their business practices?

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