With peanut recalls through the roof, the FDA has uncovered startling new evidence behind the salmonella outbreak.

Recent developments show that the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) knowingly shipped salmonella-laced products as far back as 2007. A peanut plant in Georgia shipped out chopped peanuts that they knew to be contaminated and continued to ship product before results of a second test were produced.

So far, the outbreak has been responsible for 8 deaths and 575 illnesses in 43 states, spawning a massive criminal investigation as to who is liable for this massive oversight. Over 1,550 products have been recalled. Consumers are now even shunning peanut butter and other peanut products altogether, even those not said to be contaminated, driving sales down almost 25%, according to the New York Times.

Initially, the FDA had said the PCA waited for the second test results to come in before shipping out anymore peanut product. However, the agency amended its statement Friday saying the Corporation went ahead and shipped the products before results were in.

No official statement has been released from the Peanut Corporation of America at this time, but a lawyer from the PCA said they are conducting an investigation as to what exactly happened at the plant.

"We have not made a determination yet on liability," said attorney Amy Rotenberg. "We are neither denying or admitting liability at this point. We are still investigating."

Source: Associated Press