Bankruptcy for tainted peanut company

Peanut Corp. of America, company at the heart of the salmonella outbreak, files to liquidate.

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ATLANTA (CNN) -- The peanut processing company at the heart of a national salmonella outbreak, Peanut Corp. of America, filed Friday for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in court in Lynchburg, Va.

The documents were filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Western District of Virginia.

The bankruptcy papers were signed by Stewart Parnell, the president of PCA, who invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in refusing to answer questions this week in a congressional hearing.

Bacteria found in the company's Blakely, Ga., peanut processing plant have been blamed for more than 600 cases of salmonella, including nine deaths.

The Texas Health Department on Thursday ordered products from the company's plant in Plainview, Texas, to be recalled, after discovering dead rodents, rodent excrement and bird feathers in the plant.

A call to the company's telephone number, which was working earlier this week, elicited a recording that said it was no longer in service.

"The long and the short of it is that we kicked the tires on reorganizing the company and, frankly, they're just in a position now where they can't even conduct business," said Andrew S. Goldstein, a lawyer for the company. "They can't operate at all, and this just seemed like the inevitable course." To top of page

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