Peanut butter dumped into a New Mexico landfill is on the minds of many this week after nearly a million jars were destroyed.
Sunland Inc., the peanut-processing plant that made the peanut butter, is at the center of a bankruptcy case and nationwide recall after 41 salmonella cases in 20 states were reported. The company says that Costco refused to take delivery of the product, but also wouldn't agree to let it be donated to food banks in the area.
"Those trucks carrying it to the dump went right by the front door of my food bank. It wasn't like it would have been out of the way," said Melinda Joy Pattison, executive director of the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico. "For it to just be deliberately thrown away is disappointing."
According to public works director Clint Bunch, the product will go to the Curry County landfill in Clovis, where it will be covered with waste and dirt; bankruptcy trustee Clarke Coll said there was no other choice.
"We considered all options. They didn't agree," Coll said of Costco. The retail giant has had no comment.
Costco reportedly had extensive testing done on the last batch of peanut butter Sunland made for them and found it safe, but after recieving eight shipments, the company declined to sell it due to "leaky peanut oil". Sunland shut down in October after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
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