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Salmonella spotted in Bunge canola meal

The company with the largest canola crushing presence in Canada has shut down two of its plants after shipments of canola meal to the U.S. tested positive for salmonella, the Reuters news agency reported Friday.

Reuters quoted a spokesperson for Bunge North America as saying a shipment that tested positive early last month was traced back to the company’s crush plant at Hamilton, Ont., which resumed canola crushing after some upgrades in 2007. The second shipment to test positive came from Bunge’s crush plant at Nipawin in northeastern Saskatchewan, Reuters said.

Reuters quoted Bunge’s Deb Seidel as saying the company immediately shut down the canola lines at each plant, with each now undergoing scheduled cleaning. She also said the company hopes to resume shipping to the U.S. once it meets all the protocols for salmonella laid out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Reuters also quoted the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association (COPA) on Friday as saying it’s heard multiple shipments of canola meal, along with other unspecified agricultural commodities, have been delayed because of the FDA’s implementation of new protocols for salmonella.

Canola meal from the plants is used as cattle feed, notably by some U.S. dairy farmers seeking cheaper protein sources compared to soy meal.

Reuters quoted one Texas dairy specialist as saying any salmonella contamination in the U.S. milk supply for human consumption is unlikely.

Salmonella bacteria shouldn’t pass into the milk through a dairy cow’s body, Texas AgriLife specialist Ellen Jordan told Reuters. Even if it did, it would be killed in milk during pasteurization.

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