Southern California breaking news and trends

Plagued peanut butter company to begin harvesting next week

Tainted Peanut Butter

Jeri Clausing/AP

Sunland Inc. peanut butter and nut processing plant in eastern New Mexico, near Portales, has been shuttered since late September due to a salmonella outbreak that sickened dozens. The Department of Justice is seeking a permanent injunction against the nation's largest organic peanut butter plant, an eastern New Mexico facility that has been linked to a salmonella outbreak that sickened 42 people in 20 states.

A peanut butter plant shuttered by a widespread salmonella outbreak has been given the go ahead to start harvesting a bumper crop of prized eastern New Mexico Valencia peanuts next week under an agreement that ends a tense, monthslong standoff with federal regulators.

A consent decree filed in federal court Friday says Sunland Inc. can reopen its plant in Portales if it hires an independent expert to develop a sanitation plan, which then must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Conditions at the plant, which is the largest organic peanut butter producer in the country, prompted the FDA in November to use new authority for the first time to revoke the company's operating certificate without a court hearing. The action came after the plant was linked to a salmonella outbreak that sickened 42 people in 20 states this fall.

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Man's body found at scene of early morning brushfire

 8300 W La Tuna Caynon Rd  brushfire

Screenshot via Google Maps

Brushfire location near 8300 W La Tuna Caynon Rd in Sunland, CA.

A body was found at the scene of a brushfire in the San Fernando Valley near the entrance of the West trail of Santa Monica Conservatory Park, according to LAFD spokesman Erik Scott.

Los Angeles Fire Department responders recieved a call at 8300 W La Tuna Caynon Rd just before 3 a.m. Thursday, and the small 20' x 20' Sunland brushfire was quickly extinguished by LAFD personnel.

Arson and homicide investigators arrived at the scene after a man's body was discovered. Officials will try to determine the cause of the fire, and how the body arrived at the location.

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