Citing its inability to "overcome the economic reality of a recall this large," Topps Meat Co. announced today it will fold. The nation's largest producer of frozen hamburgers, a stalwart in Elizabeth, NJ, for 67 years, laid off 77 workers, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. A skeleton crew of 10 will remain to aid the USDA investigation of E. coli contamination.
The beef recall, which involved 21.7 million pounds of hamburger patties, was the second-largest in US history and covered roughly a year's worth of product. "This is tragic for all concerned," said the CEO of Topps. "We regret that our products have been linked to recently reported illnesses." (Read more Topps Meat Co. stories.)