Feds seek to shut down peanut but­ter maker

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS -

AL­BU­QUERQUE, N.M. — The De­part­ment of Jus­tice is seek­ing a per­ma­nent in­junc­tion against the na­tion’s largest or­ganic peanut but­ter plant, an east­ern New Mex­ico fa­cil­ity that has been linked to a sal­mo­nella out­break that has sick­ened 42 peo­ple in 20 states this fall.

The re­quest filed in fed­eral court in Al­bu­querque seeks to pro­hibit Sun­land Inc. in Por­tales from re­ceiv­ing, pro­cess­ing, man­u­fac­tur­ing or sell­ing any nut prod­ucts un­til the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion is sat­is­fied its op­er­a­tions are safe.

It wasn’t known what prompted fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors to get in­volved in the case against Sun­land, whose reg­is­tra­tion to op­er­ate was re­voked by the FDA last month be­cause of re­peated safety vi­o­la­tions.

That or­der came as the com­pany had planned to re­open some its op­er­a­tions af­ter vol­un­tar­ily re­call­ing hun­dreds of prod­ucts and clos­ing its pro­cess­ing and peanut but­ter plants.

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