Costco Trashes 1M Perfectly Fine Jars of Peanut Butter

58 truckloads not allowed to go to food banks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2014 1:24 AM CDT
Updated Mar 28, 2014 7:36 AM CDT
The Sunland Inc. peanut butter and nut processing plant in eastern New Mexico.   (AP Photo/Jeri Clausing, File)

(Newser) – Almost a million jars of peanut butter are being trucked to a New Mexico landfill after Costco refused to either accept them or allow them to be donated to food banks. The peanut butter—made from $2.8 million worth of Valencia peanuts owned by Costco—is being dumped as part of the sale of a bankrupt plant linked to a huge peanut butter recall in 2012, reports the AP. Sunland, once the nation's largest producer of organic peanut butter, went bankrupt last year following the much publicized salmonella outbreak, and a Canadian company has snapped up the plant for $25 million, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

The jars had been sitting in a warehouse since last fall, and while court filings say "all parties agreed there's nothing wrong with the peanut butter from a health and safety issue," Costco on March 19 said it had to be destroyed; the company previously determined the jars were "not merchantable" because of leaky peanut oil. The last of 58 truckloads of peanut butter is due to arrive at a landfill in Clovis today, where it will be covered in dirt. A spokeswoman for New Mexico's largest food bank declined to comment on the peanut butter dump, but noted that "rescued food" accounts for 74% of what it distributes. And the drama doesn't end there: The AP notes that a North Carolina company had won the first round of bidding for Sunland with a $20 million offer, only to be outbid by Golden Boy Foods just minutes before the court hearing that would have approved Hampton Farms' purchase; Hampton Farms is prepping for an appeal. (New Mexico landfills have been in the news lately.)

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