"Cranford Nj Bankruptcy Lawyer"
MEAT & POULTRY IS THE NEWSLETTER OF THE MEAT TRADE INSTITUTE DECEMBER2007 213 SOUTH AVE. EAST, SPENCER BANK BUILDING CRANFORD, NJ 07016 PHONE: 908-276-5111 VOL 32 NO 6 The President's Topps Meat Files for Liquidation Message The Topps Meat Co., which issued the nation’s second-largest beef recall ever, has filed papers to liquidate the members became ill after eating hamburgers. Among those listed as creditors company. Elizabeth-based Topps was were Tyson Foods Inc. of Chicago and one of the largest makers of frozen the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s By John Calcagno hamburgers before potentially fatal Food Safety and Inspection Service, Institute President bacteria were found in its patties, the agency investigating the source of compelling it to halt production and the E. coli contamination. Topps Record issue the recall Sept. 29. Another creditor appears to be Six days later, Topps said it was Topps Executive Vice President Recall closing its business after being forced Anthony L. D’Urso, a member of the to issue the recall of 21.7 million pounds family that ran Topps for about 60 years The news regarding Topps Meats of frozen hamburger, which is one year’s until a controlling interest was and the ramifications from a record worth of production. purchased in 2003 by Strategic recall are still sending shockwaves Topps has up to 10,000 creditors Investments & Holdings, a private-equity through the industry. and liabilities of $1 million to $100 firm based in Buffalo, N.Y. As you can see from our lead million, according to its Chapter 7 filing Strategic Investments was also article, Topps has decided to liquidate. in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newark. named as a creditor, as were stores This is a sad day for the industry Topps listed about 5,400 creditors that sold Topps products, including because there are still many questions in the petition, but gave no amounts Wal-Mart Stores Inc., ShopRite and about the original recall, especially the that each was owed. Nearly all appeared Pathmark supermarkets, and Rastelli size and scope of the recall. to be individuals who sought refunds for Fine Foods Ltd. I am looking into this situation and boxes of frozen hamburgers. The Calls seeking comment Friday from it is still too early to make a final creditors included at least one of the judgment, but there are some facts that (Continued on Page 3) families who have sued Topps when are disturbing. The size of the recall seems unprecedented. Some people at USDA were surprised that the recall included Another Beef Recall a year’s supply of product and extended November 26, 2007 - American compromised immune systems are the coast-to-coast. That needs to be looked Foods Group LLC of Green Bay is most susceptible to foodborne illness. into. voluntarily recalling approximately The problem was discovered through Typically, recalls are limited to 95,927 pounds of various coarse and an investigation into two illnesses that specific batches of product and are fine ground beef products because they was initiated by the Illinois Department extended only when clear evidence may be contaminated with E. coli of Public Health. Anyone concerned indicates further involvement. O157:H7, the U.S. Department of about an illness should contact a Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection physician. Service announced November 25. The products subject to recall were "It is hard to The ground beef products subject distributed for further processing and believe that the size to recall were produced on Oct. 10 and repackaging and will not bear the of the Topps recall were distributed to retail establishments recalling firm’s establishment number . and distributors in Indiana, Kentucky, As the use-by date for products subject was warranted." Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin to this recall may have expired, and Virginia. consumers can contact their retailers As I already indicated, however, it E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially to ask if they received any of these is too early to make a judgment. I will deadly bacterium that can cause bloody products, if so, consumers are urged to keep you informed on developments as diarrhea and dehydration. The very look in their freezers for these products they arise. young, seniors and persons with and return or discard them if found. -2- Ag Weekly Says Outdated Meat Law Needs To Go Topps Meat Bancruptcy The push is on for bison. programs. Perhaps that’s true, (Continued from Page 1) Congress to abandon an The cattle and poultry but we don’t see the status outdated harmful ban on industries have been fighting quo changing much in that D’Urso and Strategic shipping state-inspected meat the ban for two decades, and regard. Those programs and Investments were not and poultry products across seem to have a decent shot at partnerships are already in immediately returned, nor did state lines. The punitive law getting the issue remedied. place. We see this more as an Topps bankruptcy lawyer came about in the 1960s when But of course, there are opportunity for new processing Warren A. Usatine the federal government set up opponents. and for smaller processors to immediately call back. a system to bring state In this case, the most broaden their market. A lawyer who represents inspections in line with federal vocal opponent is the CFA says the provision to some families that have sued regulations. Consumer Federation of lift the shipping ban would Topps, William D. Marler, said But the law which says America that such a move disallow states to impose Topps lawyers have told him that state inspection must be would dismantle the federal additional or higher food-safety the company has $12 million “equal to” federal standards inspection system and standards. But many states in insurance to cover the ironically prohibited interstate jeopardize food safety. They and processing facilities claims of E. coli victims. shipping of those equally seem to disregard the fact that already operate under more or Topps recalled the meat inspected products. state-inspected programs higher standards than the after some was found The senseless ban is where other food products are federal regulations. And contaminated with E. coli certainly discriminatory as no concerned have had no such where’s the logic if 1., state O157:H7, a potentially fatal other state-inspected food effects. standards must be equal to bacteria. To date, 40 people in products or their producers The organization also federal standards and 2., eight states have been are under such limitations, claims 80 percent of federally opponents seem to think sickened after eating Topps not even meats such as wild inspected plants would be free (Continued on Page 4) beef, according to the Centers game and fowl, rabbit and to switch to state-inspected for Disease Control. Garden State Laboratories, Inc. 410 Hillside Avenue, Hillside, NJ 07205 Call Us For: HACCP Rapid E. coli 0157:H7 NEW YORK'S #1 Water Potability Testing Generic E. coli Testing FRANKFURTER Salmonella Testing MARATHON CERTIFIED & APPROVED ENTERPRISES INC. Visit Us on the World Wide Web: 66 East Union Avenue http://www.gslabs.com East Rutherford, New Jersey 07073 201-935-3330 1-800-273-8901 Fax: 908-688-8966 -3- Credit Briefs Brought to you by SEAFAX, INC. Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition $125,000 for a loan to the Topps Meat Company. G.A.M. Meats, Inc., in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court business. According to the Although Balzac, Alberta- Rochester, NY for the Southern District of statement of financial affairs, based Ranchers Beef actually Armand Miale, the New York on October 22 under B & B Best-Buy Foods Inc ceased operations on August shareholder of defunct Case #13313. estimates its loss for the fiscal 15, some product remained in Rochester, NY-based G.A.M. The entity listed $1,000 worth 2007 up to the petition date as storage and was collected and Meats Inc, formerly conducting of assets, comprised of totaling $1.17 million. The tested by the CFIA as part of business as Skip’s Meat personal property. company states it lost $1.09 the joint investigation of the Market, filed an individual The debtor conveyed its million in fiscal 2006 and for Topps recall and as part of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition liabilities total $48,886, of fiscal 2005 lost $1.4 million. CFIA’s own probe into 45 October 26 in the U.S. which $24,150 is owed to the Angelo Baldassare illnesses in Canada from E. Bankruptcy Court for the entity’s landlord. Another claimed to SEAFAX a few coli. Western District of New York $10,036 in unsecured debt is different times that he was Accordingly, this under Case #07-22695. Miale owed to Washington Mutual attempting to sell the business information, shared with the lists assets of $65,730, Bank. to one distributor or another FSIS, helped the U.S. agency secured debt of $41,393 and and ultimately hoped to have to determine a likely source of general unsecured liabilities B & B Best-Buy Foods, sufficient funds to cover contaminated product which totaling $214,274.The Inc., Kearny, NJ liabilities. led to the September 29 Topps unsecured debt amount B & B Best-Buy Foods Meat Company expanded includes trade liabilities Inc filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy Topps Meat Company recall. associated with G.A.M. Meats petition on October 9 with the LLC, Elizabeth, NJ PulseNet, the Centers for Inc. Miale’s petition shows just U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the USDA identifies likely Disease Control and over $19,000 of his assets as District of New Jersey under source of E. coli for Topps Prevention’s (CDC) searchable exempt and the petition Case #07-24632. The matter Meat. A joint investigation database of all PFGE patterns indicates unsecured creditors was filed as a no-asset case. between the Canadian Food from patients and food will not receive any distribution The debtor’s schedules, filed Inspection Agency (CFIA) and products in the U.S., provided toward their debts. with the petition, list assets the U.S. Department of verification to the FSIS that According to a notice worth an estimated $124,284 Agriculture’s Food Safety and the PFGE pattern from posted on G.A.M. Meats Inc’s and liabilities totaling just short Inspection Service (FSIS) Ranchers Beef matched those web site, the entity ceased of $4.05 million. Some $3.5 identified a likely source of the from patients who were ill and operations September 20. million in liabilities consists of multi-state outbreak of E. coli from positive tests conducted The company’s general unsecured debt and infections linked to product by the New York Department bankruptcy attorney told $541,236 is comprised of manufactured and sold by of Health on the product, which SEAFAX a corporate secured debt. Topps Meat Company LLC. included both intact packages bankruptcy filing for G.A.M. However, Angelo According to the and open packages from Meats Inc is not planned. Baldassare, chief executive, agencies, on October 25, the patients’ home that was later president and 100% CFIA provided FSIS with recalled by Topps Meat on B & M Meat Market and shareholder of B & B Best- “PFGE patterns,” or DNA September 29. European Products, Inc. , Buy Foods Inc, is listed as fingerprints, from tests of beef As of October 26, the New York, NY being owed $1.86 million for a trim from a Canadian firm CDC said it has 40 illnesses B & M Meat Market and loan and a Linda Baldassare named Ranchers Beef Ltd. (Continued on Next Page) European Products Inc filed a is named as being owed That company provided trim to CALCAGNO & ASSOCIATES ATTORNEYS-AT-LAW Specializing in Personal Injury Litigation, Labor Law, Commercial Litigation & USDA Matters NEW JERSEY OFFICE NEW YORK OFFICE Spencer Savings Bank Building Andrew John Calcagno, Esq. 30 Vesey Street 213 South Avenue East Admitted to practice law in New York, 15th Floor Cranford, NJ 07016 New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and New York, NY 10007 Tel: 908-272-7300 Pennsylvania Tel: 212-244-4100 -4- Credit Briefs Brought to you by SEAFAX, INC. (Continued from Previous Page) under investigation in eight states, with 21 known hospitalizations. The latest onset of illness was September 24. The DeWied, Your Sausage Casing Super Store. meat processor and distributor stated in DeWied has all the casings and ideas for your sausage a release that it made the decision to products to increase market share and profits. We make it close its doors October 5 due to “the economic impact of the second largest easy with one call hassle free ordering and small minimums! beef recall in U.S. history involving more REAL & SELECT Natural Casings - For traditional than 21.7 million pounds of ground beef products.” sausages with a snappy bite. DeWied Fibrous Casings - For smoked, or dried Outdated Meat lunchmeat products, like salami, bologna and ham. Laws Pro-Line Collagen - For exact portion controlled fresh, (Continued from Previous Page) processed and snack stick sausages. federal standards are dandy. ADVA Plastic Casings - For cooked lunchmeats like deli CFA’s final argument is the inability ham, bologna, salami, D-shaped products and frozen of states to implement recalls and that ground meat patty forming. the issue of recall would be better off in the hands of federal inspections. This Hukki - Turn the competition into plain vanilla and boring couldn’t be further from reality. The USDA lunchmeat into a gourmet meal. has no authority to recall adulterated meat or poultry; it can only cooperate with a processor who voluntarily decides on a recall. States, however, do have the authority to issue a recall of contaminated product. For more information, CFA’s arguments just don’t hold up, e-mail: sales @ dewiedint.com and we hope Congress sees that and phone: +210-661-6161 or toll free at +800-992-5600 ends a senseless ban that has limited or visit us on line at www.dewied.com and harmed meat and poultry producers for more than 40 years. Your Source for Credit and Collections in Metro New York . ⌧ Credit Checks ⌧ Collections ⌧ Regional News Wire Local Representative Sheldon Hamilton 508-376-8447 1-800-777-3533 ext. 4018 Regional Credit Services firstname.lastname@example.org