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Nation

Body ID’d as missing hospital patient

– A patient who disappeared from her room at San Francisco’s main hospital last month was identified Wednesday as the woman found dead this week in an emergency stairwell, horrified authorities said as they continued to investigate how she got there and died.

San Francisco General Hospital Chief Medical Officer Todd May said officials were still awaiting confirmation of the woman’s identity from the medical examiner’s office. But he said the hospital had enough information to conclude the body discovered in the fourth-floor stairwell belonged to 57-year-old Lynne Spalding.

Sheriff’s officials do not yet know how long Spalding had been in the stairwell, which is part of a rarely used fire exit that has an alarm on it, is locked from the outside and exits onto hospital grounds, Assistant Sheriff Paul Miyamoto said.

3 California poultry sites tied to sickness

The Agriculture Department is threatening to shut down three California poultry processing facilities linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 278 people across the country.

USDA said Wednesday that Foster Farms, owner of the three facilities, has until today to tell the department how it will fix the problem. The company was notified Monday.

Sampling by USDA in September showed that raw chicken processed by those facilities included strains of salmonella that were linked to the outbreak. But the company has not recalled any of its products.

4 brothers removed from Denver home

Four undernourished Colorado boys who were living in squalor and unable to speak face a long and uncertain path to recovery, an expert said, but there is at least some hope for their future.

The brothers, ages 2 to 6, were removed from what police described as a filthy Denver apartment late last month and placed in state custody. Their parents, Wayne Sperling and Lorinda Bailey, appeared in court Tuesday on charges of felony child abuse.

“These kids have lived in such a bizarre environment that they probably haven’t developed any level of trust,” said Diane Baird, a licensed clinical social worker.

“These guys are going to have a really hard time through it. They need good therapists and good caregivers,” said Baird, who isn’t directly involved in the case.

Asked if they can recover, Baird said they could, to some extent. Then she added, “People change beyond my wildest imaginings sometimes.”

Peanut butter plant files for bankruptcy

An eastern New Mexico peanut butter plant involved in a nationwide salmonella outbreak last year has closed its doors and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Workers at the Sunland Inc. plant in Portales were notified Wednesday that the plant was shut down.

Chapter 7 means the company shuts down and liquidates its assets.

The Food and Drug Administration shuttered the plant in September 2012 after its products were linked to 41 cases in 20 states.

Most of those were linked to natural peanut butter the company made. The shutdown of the country’s largest organic peanut butter processor left many stores scrambling for months to find alternative natural peanut butters.

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