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Peanut butter dumped: Million jars wasted, ordered destroyed by Costco

Million jars of peanut butter get dumped in sticky situation.
Million jars of peanut butter get dumped in sticky situation.
Wikimedia Commons

About a million jars of peanut butter were dumped in a landfill as the result of a sticky situation. The building in which the jars were housed was sold, so their departure needed to happen to expedite the closing. The peanut butter came out of the plant that was the center of the 2013 salmonella outbreak, which constituted a nationwide recall, according to MSN Money on March 28.

After “extensive testing” all parties agreed that the peanut butter was fine for human consumption. It was made from the $2.8 million worth of Valencia peanuts that Costco owned. The jars of the product were made for Costco to sell in their stores. The peanuts had been in the plant since the company filed for bankruptcy and shut-down.

With extensive testing proving the peanut butter was fine, Costco agreed to sell the peanut butter in their stores, which was in accordance of a court order authorizing the sale. Then after Costco accepted eight loads, they deemed the merchandise “not merchantable” because of leaky peanut oil and rejected the rest.

With the peanut butter perfectly fine to eat, Sunland Inc, the plant that manufactured the product, reports that Costco would not agree to sell or donate it. Sunland made requests to donate the jars to food banks or have the peanut butter repackaged and sold to institutions such as prisons.

Costco refused any other outcome for the peanut butter, ordering the estimated million jars destroyed. According to USA today, "court records show that on a March 19 conference call Costco said "it would not agree to any disposition … other than destruction."

Sunland made and packaged the peanut butter for a variety of stores like Costco, Trader Joe's and Kroger. It also sold peanut butter under its own label.

The peanut butter was shipped to a New Mexico landfill with the last of the 58 trucks carrying the peanut butter expected to arrive today, Friday March 28. This also happens to be the same day that the new company that purchased the plant closed on the property.

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