(Oct. 21, 10:39 a.m.) High diesel costs and the summer salmonella scare combined with the departure of two major customers have forced J.C. Produce LLC, West Sacramento, Calif., to close.

“I think we did the right thing, before it got worse,” said John Tedesco, chief financial officer. “At least I know that every customer knew in advance he needed to find a replacement supplier.”

The closure, effective Oct. 17, includes the company’s headquarters and distribution center in West Sacramento and the southern California distribution center near Los Angeles, Tedesco said. About 200 employees are affected, he said.

J.C. Produce focused on the casual dining sector of the foodservice industry, but schools and hospitals also were among its customers, Tedesco said. The company’s statewide service required 700 deliveries daily to restaurant chains that included Olive Garden, Denny’s and Outback Steakhouse, he said.

Tedesco, who retired in late summer, was asked by the company’s owners, the Lennane family, to oversee the firm’s shutting down, he said.

“This is a reflection of what is going on in California and, I think, in the nation,” Tedesco said. “The credit markets have created other problems for a variety of links in the chain.”