ATLANTA – The peanut processing company at the heart of a national salmonella outbreak is going out of business. The Lynchburg, Va.-based Peanut Corp. of America filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Virginia Friday, the latest bad news for the company that has been accused of producing tainted peanut products that may have reached everyone from poor school children to disaster victims.
"It's regrettable, but it's inevitable with the events of last month," said Andrew S. Goldstein, a bankruptcy lawyer in Roanoke, Va., who filed the petition.
They certainly don't waste time waiting on anyone to sue them for their negligence. Boo Hoo for them that they don't pay proper attention to foods and machinery that feed this country and now have to suffer major financial set backs. And the fact they sent out product KNOWING it was tainted?! The rodents, feathers and feces found in the overhead areas of the plant that were sucked into the air ducting over where all the food was processed?! ICK. Yeah, I feel real sorry for them.
The salmonella outbreak was traced to the company's plant in Blakely, Ga., where inspectors found roaches, mold and a leaking roof. A second plant in Plainview, Texas was shuttered this week after preliminary tests came back positive for possible salmonella contamination. So far, the outbreak has been suspected of sickening more than 630 people and may have caused nine deaths. It also has led to more than 2,000 product recalls, one of the largest recalls in U.S. history.
Companies file Chapter 7 to liquidate their assets and distribute the proceeds to creditors. A trustee is automatically appointed to oversee the wind down, as opposed to a Chapter 11 filing that gives a company breathing room while it tries to reduce its debts and continue in business. The company said in the filing that its debt and assets both ranged between $1 million and $10 million.
The board had considered a Chapter 11 bankruptcy but decided on an outright liquidation. It said in a court filing that the recalls had been "extremely devastating" to the company's financial condition.
"We kicked the tires on trying to reorganize, but the fact of the matter is they've absolutely closed down," Goldstein said. "They're prevented from carrying on business. There didn't seem like there would be any prospects."
And then you have the wonderful medical world...I suppose it's a good thing they are telling you about it, but still...
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Thousands of patients at a Veterans Administration clinic in Tennessee may have been exposed to the infectious body fluids of other patients when they had colonoscopies in recent years, and now VA medical facilities all over the U.S. are reviewing their own procedures.
VA officials also said a problem was found with equipment at an ear, nose and throat clinic at the VA medical center in Augusta, Ga., and 1,800 veterans have been notified they may have been exposed to infection there.
A spokesman at the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn., said the clinic is offering free blood tests and medical care to all patients whose records show they had colonoscopies between April, 23, 2003 and Dec. 1, 2008.
Christopher Conklin said in a telephone interview Friday that notification letters were sent this week by registered mail to 6,378 patients of the Murfreesboro facility. He said no related health problems have been reported, and every measure is being taken to assure that affected veterans are screened.
One veteran who received notification, Gary Simpson, 57, said, "The fact that it took five years for them to catch a mistake like that — it seems like somebody should have caught an incorrect valve and incorrect cleaning of the equipment during that time." His wife Janice called the discovery "sickening" and "horrifying."
Conklin said a valve on equipment used in the colonoscopies was discovered wrongly connected Dec. 1 and the mistake was traced back to April 23, 2003.
Does anyone watch out for things anymore? What kind of poor training do VA hospital workers have that they connect machinery up WRONG. Forget the fact they obviously don't evn know how to maintain or clean the equipment.
This is just sickening.