The Texas Department of State Health Services is taking over the recall of products shipped from a peanut processing plant that shut down amid salmonella fears.
The state agency said Friday that it's taking over because of unresponsiveness from the Peanut Corp. of America plant in Plainview, in the Texas Panhandle. The company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy the day after the recall was announced.
The agency ordered a recall Feb. 12 of all products ever shipped from the plant after inspectors found dead rodents, rodent excrement and bird feathers in a crawl space above a production area.
Even if they do file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, food safety lawyers are optimistic that victims and their families can still be compensated. The bankruptcy proceeding could postpone litigation against the company, but lawyers plan to push a judge to allow civil lawsuits to go forward anyway. And many have also filed lawsuits against Solon, Ohio-based King Nut Co. and Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg Co., which they say used the tainted ingredients in their products.