ADM faces another salmonella contamination incident at Straubing plant

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

ADM faces another salmonella contamination incident at Straubing plant
Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has once again detected Salmonella in soybean meal at its crushing facility in Straubing, Germany.

The incident follows a similar contamination event at the plant in December last year.

About 1,000 tons of soybean meal were deemed to be tainted, according to a report by German media outlet,​ Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR).

The contaminated ingredient had been delivered to 70 farms in Bavaria, said BR, citing government officials.

A spokesperson for ADM told us:

"The quality and safety of our products has top priority for us. Last month, as part of our regular testing protocol, we discovered trace amounts of salmonella in our soybean meal at our Straubing facility.

"We've been recalling all our products since March 1. We cannot comment further on the customers affected by the recall."

The company said it is conducting an in-depth investigation. "Additionally, we also treat all meal leaving the Straubing facility to prevent and destroy any potential live salmonella.”

It said it has carefully followed all instructions from the Bavarian authorities.

"All measures prescribed by the authorities are now in force and we continue to work closely with them. ​We deeply regret the incident and are committed to resolving this problem with minimal disruption to our customers."

Previous contamination incident 

ADM’s Straubing plant was forced to recall 20,000 tons of tainted soybean meal in late December 2017. That tainted soybean meal originated from soybeans grown in Bavaria, Austria, Hungary and other countries of the Danube region; it was said to have been delivered to farmers in November and December. Production at the Straubing facility was halted temporarily following the discovery.

A spokesperson for ADM told FeedNavigator in January that a few samples out of hundreds of deliveries of soybean meal had tested positive for trace amounts of salmonella. "Out of an abundance of caution and in consultation with the Bavarian feed authorities, we recalled this entire batch of feed. We then paused production to complete a thorough cleaning and sterilization of our Straubing facility. Feed processed after December 23 has passed all quality and safety standards."

A spokesperson for the government of Upper Bavaria told in December that ADM was regularly controlled “in accordance with the legal requirements."

Salmonella study

A Dutch study, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, found that, even when a feed material is Salmonella​ positive, the probability it is a pathogenic serovar is low.

The objective of that work, Salmonella spp. in the feed chain in the Netherlands​,​ was to analyze Salmonella spp​. prevalence in feed materials in the Netherlands during the years 2008-2012.

The authors, based at Wageningen University and Research (UR), said they relied on data from the Dutch feed industry, stored in the GMP+ monitoring database, for use in their analysis. These data included results of, on average, 10,080 compound feed and 9,109 feed material samples per year.

They found, in general, based on that dataset, that Salmonella prevalence was highest in the last year - 2012, especially in compound feed of pigs, and poultry - breeders and layers. 

Straubing Plant Ariel small
ADM's Straubing based crushing facility © ADM

From the feed materials, oil seeds, especially rapeseed, soybean and sunflower, showed the highest prevalence of Salmonella in the study period, followed by greaves, fishmeal, and by-products of maize.

“However, except for maize (and derived) products, the absolute numbers of Salmonella positive sample results for these feed materials decreased over the study years, pointing towards a reduction of Salmonella presence, when similar amounts of samples were collected each year.”

Most of the Salmonella positive samples contained non-pathogenic serovars, said the authors.

“Pathogenic serovars were only found in a limited number of samples, mainly from compound feed for laying hens and feed materials of oil seed origin.”

They said results of this study could be used by the feed industry and the competent authorities for fine-tuning their monitoring activities to the raw material in which the probability of the presence of Salmonella spp., in particular pathogenic serovars, is highest.

“It is recommended to focus sampling on compound feeds for pigs and poultry, and the feed materials of oil seed origin, greaves and maize (derived).”

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