Processing Magazine

Topps Meat files for bankruptcy after huge beef recall

November 26, 2007
Topps Meat Co, which in September recalled 21.7 million pounds of beef linked to E. coli-related bacteria, has filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to liquidate, Reuters reports. The company, once one of the largest U.S. makers of frozen hamburgers, filed for protection under Chapter 7 of the U.S. bankruptcy code, papers filed with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Newark, New Jersey, show. Topps on September 29 recalled beef linked to E. coli O157:h7, a bacteria that can cause diarrhea, dehydration and kidney failure. Children, the elderly and people with poor immune systems are particularly susceptible. The recall was the fifth-largest of meat or poultry in U.S. history, according to the Department of Agriculture, which opened an investigation into Topps'' operations. Last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked 40 cases in eight U.S. states of E. coli-related illness to the tainted beef. On October 5, Topps said it would go out of business because it could not afford the costs of the recall, the first in the Elizabeth, New Jersey