The 2008 Peanut Butter Recall

And why it’s still relevant

Here’s everything you need to know about the massive Peanut Corporation of America peanut butter recall of 2008:

  • 600 people sickened by PCA peanut butter products
  • Eight dead
  • 1800 products recalled
  • Congress asked PCA president Stewart Parnell and plant manager Sammy Lightsey if they would eat any of their own products. Both pleaded the 5th Amendment so as not to incriminate themselves
  • Employees of the company said they wouldn’t allow their children to eat any of products associated with the plant.
  • The Georgia Department of Agriculture stated their goal was two inspections per year. No inspections of the were conducted on the PCA plant in over a year
  • The plant manager informed the PCA president via email of positive salmonella test results.
  • Despite knowledge of positive salmonella test results, the PCA president instructed the plant manager to ship the products.

Obviously, the saying “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” never crossed the company president’s or the plant manager’s mind.

Before the dust on this tragedy settled,  direct and indirect costs associated with this product recall soared into the billions of dollars.  Apparently the officers and employees of the Peanut Corporation of America valued human life only if it was theirs or that of an immediate family member.

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