FEBRUARY 17, 2009, 1:29 P.M. ET

Peanut Firm Linked to Salmonella Closes Virginia Plant

Source of Article:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123489441770101553.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Associated Press

ROANOKE, Va. -- The only plant operated by a Virginia-based peanut processor that hasn't been linked to recalls because of possible salmonella contamination has been shut down.

Tidewater Blanching of Suffolk closed Friday, the same day that Lynchburg-based Peanut Corp. of America filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy attorney Andrew Goldstein of Roanoke said Tuesday that the Suffolk plant had about 13 workers when it closed.

A spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Elaine Lidholm, says state inspectors found minor problems at the plant in 2007 and 2008. She said problems included flaking paint and evidence of rodents.

A nationwide salmonella outbreak has been traced to the company's plant in Blakely, Ga. A second plant in Plainview, Texas, was shuttered last week after preliminary tests showed possible salmonella contamination.



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