A timeline of important events in the salmonella outbreak linked to tainted peanuts at a Blakely, Ga., plant.
_2006 — Four inspections by the Georgia Department of Agriculture cite numerous, repeated violations at the Blakely, Ga., plant of the Peanut Corp. of America, a peanut processing company and maker of peanut butter for bulk distribution to institutions, food service industries, and private label food companies. The violations include food residue buildup, storage on floors and the improper use of duct tape.
_Aug. 2007 — Three samples taken at PCA by the Georgia Department of Agriculture test negative for salmonella and pesticides.
_2008 — Seven tests performed for the company are positive for salmonella. In each case, after a retest is negative, the product is shipped.
_Sept. 8, 2008 — The first reported illnesses begin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
_Nov. 25, 2008 — The CDC, working with state and local partners, begins an epidemiological assessment of a cluster of salmonella cases reported from 12 different states.
_Dec. 21, 2008 — Shirley Mae Almer, 72, dies in a nursing home in Brainerd, Minn. On. Jan. 26, 2009, her relatives file suit against the operators of PCA and distributor King Nut Cos. saying their negligence caused her death. The complaint says her death was a direct result of eating peanut butter infected by a salmonella strain linked to the nationwide outbreak.
_Jan. 8, 2009 — The Food and Drug Administration visits an Ohio distributor for Peanut Corp. of America.
_Jan. 9, 2009 — The FDA and the Georgia Department of Agriculture initiate an environmental investigation at the PCA plant.