Georgia plant manager says mold, mildew at processor

ALBANY, Ga. — A former plant manager says he saw mildew, mold and dirty equipment at a Georgia peanut processor linked to a deadly salmonella outbreak.

Samuel Lightsey testified Monday about photographs depicting plant conditions during the trial of his former boss, Peanut Corp. of America owner Stewart Parnell, and two others.

Authorities traced an outbreak of salmonella in 2008 and 2009 to peanut products shipped from the plant.

Parnell and his brother, food broker Michael Parnell, are accused of shipping tainted products to customers and covering up lab tests showing they contained salmonella. Stewart Parnell and the Georgia plant’s quality assurance manager, Mary Wilkerson, are also charged with obstructing justice.

Lightsey, the witness, pleaded guilty to seven criminal counts in May and agreed to testify in exchange for a lighter sentence.

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