FDA inspectors say the plant knowingly shipped contaminated peanuts
FBI agents have raided a peanut processing plant blamed for a US-wide outbreak of salmonella poisoning that has been linked to eight deaths.
Agents carried out search warrants at the Georgia-based Peanut Corporation of America's plant in the town of Blakely and at its headquarters in Lynchburg.
The raid came three days after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said PCA knowingly sold contaminated nuts.
A criminal inquiry was launched last month. The firm denies any wrongdoing.
An FDA inspection in January found that the plant in Blakely was "not compliant with Current Good Manufacturing Practices required by the FDA".
More than 1,550 food products containing PCA peanut butter have now been recalled.
A total of 575 people in 43 US states are reported to have fallen ill with the outbreak strain of salmonella typhimurium since September 2008. More than half of those affected were under 16 years old.
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning, which usually appear within 12 to 72 hours of eating contaminated food, include diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, headaches, stomach cramps and fever.
The symptoms can last for several days but most otherwise healthy people make a full recovery within a week.