Beyond those who are tragically affected directly by foodborne illness, outbreaks often result in further fallout in the supply chain.
The Florida tomato industry estimates that it lost millions as a result of a Salmonella outbreak. In 2006, harvest crews found themselves out of work as no one was harvesting spinach following an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that led to a health advisory on fresh bagged spinach. Following the discovery of BSE in Canada in 2003, many in the transport industry found it had nothing to haul to the U.S.
According to KRQE in Albuquerque, New Mexico peanut farmers are the latest to feel the affects of an outbreak – peanut processor Sunland Inc.’s bankruptcy.
The New Mexico peanut butter plant, involved in a nationwide salmonella outbreak, declared Chapter 7 Bankruptcy early in October, now has growers in eastern New Mexico and west Texas collectively out millions of dollars.
One grower says he’s mostly upset because he feels Sunland wasn’t honest.
Court documents show the plant had been preparing for the possibility of bankruptcy months before doing so, yet the growers say the plant didn’t warn them so they paid for and planted a crop that they may now have to put in storage.