Official: Sunland reopening process plant on Tuesday

ALBUQUERQUE — The New Mexico peanut butter company that was shuttered after a salmonella outbreak will reopen its peanut processing facility on Tuesday and hopes to be making peanut butter again by the end of the year, officials said.

Sunland Inc. spokeswoman Katalin Coburn said officials are eager to begin working on this year's crop, which is about 98 percent harvested.

"We have lots of peanuts in the barn, so it's time to start shelling," she said Monday. "Starting (Tuesday) I think we are beginning with one regular shift, then gearing up to do full-on four shifts."

The plant is located in the southeastern New Mexico town of Portales. The region is home to the prized Valencia peanut, which is favored for natural and organic peanut butter products because of its sweet flavor.

Wayne Baker, president of the New Mexico Peanut Grower's Association, said farmers are ready to put the uncertainty surrounding the shutdown behind them.

"The crop that we got in is just beautiful," he said. "They are the best peanuts we have had in a long time. … So we are ready for this to be over. That one time in a lifetime is

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