Dead rodents and bird feathers were found in Plainview, Texas plant of the Peanut Corporation of America, which is already infamous for the salmonella outbreak.
The Texas Department of State Health Services ordered PCA to "recall all products ever shipped from its Plainview plant," the southern US state's health department said in a statement Thursday.
Advertisement"The order was issued after dead rodents, rodent excrement and bird feathers were discovered yesterday in a crawl space above a production area during an in-depth DSHS inspection," it said.
"The inspection also found that the plant?s air handling system was not completely sealed and was pulling debris from the infested crawl space into production areas of the plant resulting in the adulteration of exposed food products," the department warned, noting it was shutting down the plant, which has been in operation since March 2005.
The company's facility in Blakely, Georgia has been blamed for a widespread food poisoning outbreak. It knowingly shipped contaminated peanut butter and had mold growing on ceilings and walls.
The salmonella outbreak took place between September 1 and January 9, with 501 people infected in 43 states and one more person reported ill in Canada, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which is collaborating with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the investigation.
The CDC said salmonella infection may have contributed to eight deaths.
The FDA determined that people were infected or died after eating food products containing peanut butter produced by PCA in Blakely, Georgia.
"PCA distributed potentially contaminated product to more than 70 consignee firms, for use as an ingredient in hundreds of different products, such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream," the FDA said on its website.
An FDA inspection report released Wednesday found 12 instances between June 2007 and September 2008 where the firm's own testing revealed that its products were contaminated by salmonella and the PCA nonetheless shipped the product.
The peanut products were distributed to US companies as well as others in Canada, Haiti, South Korea and Trinidad.
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