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4 indicted in deadly peanut butter salmonella outbreak

– A federal grand jury indicted four former employees of a peanut company linked to a 2009 salmonella outbreak that killed nine people and sickened hundreds, leading to one of the largest recalls in history.

The 76-count indictment was unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Georgia. It charged the former employees of Virginia-based Peanut Corp. of America with conspiracy, wire fraud, obstruction of justice and other offenses related to contaminated or misbranded food.

FDA inspectors found remarkably bad conditions inside the Blakely, Ga., plant, including mold and roaches, and the company went bankrupt after the recall.

The indictment alleged the conspiracy lasted from 2003 through 2009 and that peanut products were shipped after testing positive for salmonella. The indictment cited emails sent between defendants talking about contamination in the product.