While it has been over two years since a massive, billion-dollar recall drove Sunland Inc. out of business, the food supply chain is still seeing the ripple effects of the company's demise. According to The Associated Press, Costco will be shipping and dumping nearly 1 million jars of peanut butter into a New Mexico landfill following questions about the products' ability to sell.
While the jars were cleared of any of the salmonella contamination that ultimately drove Sunland into bankruptcy in 2012, Costco said the jars could not be sold because they were leaking peanut oil. Costco is not accepting any of the purchased peanut butter and has also requested that it not be given to a food bank or otherwise consumed. Given the fate of Sunland, the decision to discard the peanut butter is not surprising.
The Sunland plant that produced the peanut butter was recently purchased by a Canadian company. While the dumping of one million jars of peanut butter is certainly a sign of issues in the food supply chain. The real story begins with Sunland's problems in 2012. The outbreak that ruined the company is a sure sign to any food supplier that it needs the best technology available to track and trace food products and ensure a quick and successful recall.