A week after announcing one of the largest meat recalls ever, Topps Meat has gone out of business.
The New Jersey company, which sold processed meat to stores across the country, was forced to recall 21.7 million pounds of ground beef because of possible E. coli contamination and is facing at least two lawsuits.
"This is tragic for all concerned," Anthony L. D'Urso, Topps's chief operating officer, said in a written statement yesterday. "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."
The fact that someone describes a company as a "manufacturer of frozen hamburgers" reminds us that we live in a country in which food is heavily processed before its reaches consumers or diners.
Paper is manufactured. So are rugs or textiles. But a hamburger? It doesn't sound very appetizing to me to have someone tell me they will "manufacture" my hamburger.
Hamburger is beef, for God's sake. It's not some synthetic material or some natural material that has been dyed or treated with solvents or other chemicals. (At least it's not supposed to be.) The lingo just seems bizarre to me; one does not "manufacture" a hamburger patty. You shape ground beef into a patty and then you freeze it. It seems strange to call that a manufacturing process.