FBI helping FDA investigate salmonella outbreak

ATLANTA (AP) -- The FBI says it's helping with a federal investigation of a Georgia peanut plant linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened hundreds of people nationwide and may have contributed to eight deaths.

Agent Gregory Jones in Atlanta said Monday the FBI is helping the Food and Drug Administration's investigation of the Peanut Corp. of America plant in Blakely, Ga.

Federal officials say the Lynchburg, Va.-based company knowingly shipped salmonella-laced products from its Georgia plant even after tests confirmed the contamination.

The outbreak has led to one of the nation's biggest food recalls and prompted lawsuits from victims claiming millions of dollars in damages.

Federal law forbids producing or shipping foods under conditions that could make them harmful to consumers' health.

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

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