Topps Hits Bottom, Plans to Liquidate

The company can’t recover from its September recall of 21.7 million pounds of contaminated ground beef.
Stephen TaubNovember 26, 2007

The company at the center of the nation’s second-largest beef recall is on the verge of extinction.

The Topps Meat Co., a leading maker of frozen hamburgers, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, meaning it plans to liquidate, the Associated Press reported. The company has up to 10,000 creditors and listed about 5,400 of them in its bankruptcy petition but did not provide specific amounts owed, according to the report.

The company’s troubles began in late September after potentially fatal bacteria were found in its patties. On October 5, Topps announced that it would go out of business immediately.

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“This is tragic for all concerned,” said Anthony D’Urso, chief operating officer, at that time. “In one week we have gone from the largest U.S. manufacturer of frozen hamburgers to a company that cannot overcome the economic reality of a recall this large.”

Founded in 1940, Topps altogether recalled about 21.7 million pounds of frozen ground beef, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. Forty people in eight states have been sickened after eating Topps beef, the AP reported, citing the Centers for Disease Control.