The Food and Drug Administration conducted approximately half the state food safety audits it promised in the two years leading up to the recent peanut salmonella outbreak.
Documents sent to Congress by the FDA show the agency did not perform any of the required audits of state-run food inspections in five states during the 2007 and 2008 budget years. The FDA was also unable to say whether the audits were conducted at all in 11 additional states, including Georgia and Texas, where the salmonella was traced to two peanut plants owned by the Peanut Corporation of America.
The FDA audits are a crucial part of the government’s ability to ensure that food is inspected properly by states that contract with the FDA to perform safety checks.
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