By Nov. 2012, Sunland was eager to reopen, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had other ideas, and filed a permanent injunction against Sunland.
Food safety can do that to an operation.
Officials with Sunland Inc., the nation’s largest organic peanut butter processor, said “ongoing financial and liquidity challenges made it necessary for the company to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code.”
Chapter 7 means the company shuts down and liquidates its assets. According to the bankruptcy filing, Sunland has an estimated $10 million to $50 million in assets, $50 million to $100 million in liabilities and 1,000 to 5,000 creditors.
Sunland reopened last May, but reportedly took a big financial hit from the eight-month closure and lawsuits that followed the salmonella outbreak.
The company had about 100 employees, who were notified Wednesday that the plant was shut down.
Portales Mayor Sharon King lamented the closure, calling it a “very sad day for our community” and noting that Sunland had been in business for decades.