Header graphic for print
Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Tomato supplier for Sheetz ceases operations, blames bad publicity

Rotten tomatoes anyone?

Tomato supplier for Sheetz ceases operations, blames bad publicity

In the not so distant past, Coronet Foods, the tomato distributer for sandwiches sold at Sheetz convenience stores, ceased operations at its plant in Wheeling, West Virginia, leaving 220 workers without jobs. The company blamed its going out of business on bad publicity from the summer’s salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 400 people, about 330 Pennsylvanians and another 80 people in nearby states.

Marler Clark represented 107 people affected by the salmonella outbreak. We filed three lawsuits as a result of the outbreak, all targeting Coronet. They have plenty of insurance to cover the claims, and we are in the process of trying to reach fair settlements for everyone.

Blaming adverse publicity from a salmonella outbreak this past summer that sickened more than 400 people, Coronet Foods said it was ceasing operations today at its plant in Wheeling, W.Va., leaving 220 workers without jobs.

The plant, which supplied bagged salads, vegetables and fruits to customers in about 20 states in New England, the Midwest and the mid-Atlantic region, informed its workers at the close of business yesterday, said Ernie Pascua, the company’s chief executive officer.

“There was a lot of hugging, a lot of tears,” Pascua said last night.

In some cases, several generations of family members have worked for the company, he said.

Coronet distributed sliced Roma tomatoes used in sandwiches sold at Sheetz convenience stores. About 330 Pennsylvanians who ate the sandwiches got sick with salmonella, and the outbreak is believed to have sickened another 80 people in nearby states.