Natural Selections, the company whose produce was tied to a deadly E. coli outbreak in August and September, has laid off 164 workers, according to a story in the Monterey Herald.

The layoffs included 48 year-round employees, including eight sales people and 40 processing plant workers. The company still will have 1,012 employees and remains the largest employer in San Benito County.

Until the spinach crisis, Natural Selection Foods was increasing its work force in "a pretty aggressive growth mode" and had planned to buy Pride of San Juan’s processing facilities.

Other plants have laid off workers or filed for bankruptcy as a result of the drop in spinach sales after the E. coli outbreak was traced to bagged spinach.