Before the foodborne disease outbreak two years ago that spread Salmonella Bredeney infections to 20 states, Portales, NM, could brag about Sunland Inc. being the nation’s largest producer of organic peanut butter. Now in bankruptcy, Sunland was forced in April to sell the plant responsible for those bragging rights for $26 million to help pay its creditors, including several victims of the outbreak. Golden Boy Foods of Canada is the new owner of the Portales peanut butter plant. It erected a shiny new green sign in front of the property on Highway 70, and, in eight months, that’s been all Portales has seen out of Golden Boy. Owned by St. Louis-based Post Holdings, Golden Boy has not even bothered yet to obtain a business license from the city. However, the company reportedly has checked in with the Roosevelt County Development Corporation about tax incentives that may be available to the plant. But if it has plans to put the facility back in operation, it is not sharing them. When it purchased the facility in a bankruptcy court auction, Golden Boy did not have to make any promises about reopening. Sunland employed about 100 people when, on Nov. 26, 2012, it went down in history for being the first food facility to have its registration suspended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Being forced to shut down was a financial blow from which Sunland never recovered. It did resume operations in early 2013, with some recapitalization help coming from Costco, but Sunland eventually filed for Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy in October 2013. Portales’ demise as the nation’s organic peanut butter capital started when FDA connected a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney to Trader Joe’s Valencia Peanut Butter, which the retailer recalled after FDA connected the product to the outbreak. Two days later, Sunland began adding its other products and brands to an expanding recall. Initially, it included its peanut butters and products made from nuts and seeds. The recall would eventually include more than 300 products, including raw and roasted shelled and in-shell peanuts. As the recall grew, FDA officials arrived in Portales to inspect the peanut butter plant. In a visit that lasted from Sept. 17 to Oct. 16, 2012, FDA found conditions in the facility, its manufacturing processes and testing program that “may have allowed” peanut butter containing Salmonella to be distributed by Sunland. The outbreak Salmonella Bredeney strain was found in samples taken inside the plant. There were 42 confirmed cases before the outbreak ran its course. Burnaby, BC-based Golden Boy Foods did not respond to a request from Food Safety News for a comment about its plans for Portales. It currently manufactures organic and conventional peanut and tree nut butters at four plants in Brampton and Markham, ON, Blaine, WA, and Troy, AL.