U.S. blocks Hamilton crush plant’s canola meal

Winnipeg | Reuters –– The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) halted a shipment of canola meal on Dec. 1 from a Bunge plant in Hamilton, Ont. because it appeared to contain salmonella bacteria, FDA records show.

Salmonella can cause food-borne illness in humans. However, canola meal is mainly shipped to the U.S. for use in animal feed, especially in the California dairy industry.

The U.S. is by far Canada’s biggest canola meal export market, importing about three million tonnes in 2015, or 96 per cent of the country’s exports, according to Canadian government data published by the Canola Council of Canada.

Shipments that were halted over salmonella concerns interrupted trade between half a dozen Canadian canola meal processing plants and U.S. buyers in 2009 and 2010.

A search of the FDA’s online records for 2015 did not show other such refusals from Canadian canola plants.

Spokespersons for Bunge and the FDA could not be immediately reached.

Rod Nickel is a Reuters correspondent covering the agriculture and mining sectors from Winnipeg.

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