scales.bmpRegulators in Georgia are looking to increase penalties for food producers who violate safety rules.   The Georgia Department of Agriculture is seeking public comment on the new regulations that are meant to implement leglislation passed by state lawmakers in 2009.

In particular, the proposed fines are aimed at food processors who “don’t conduct mandatory tests for contamination or hide the results.”

According to a report, “Failing to test products as required could bring a $5,000 fine for each violation. Hiding a test showing contamination would cost $7,500 for every violation.”

The fines and legislation are no doubt in response to the PCA peanut butter Salmonella outbreak of 2009.   After being found responsible for more than 700 confirmed Salmonella illnesses and nine deaths, documents were found suggesting that PCA officials knowingly shipped contaminated product.