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Cargill Says USDA Contacted It as Part of Salmonella Probe

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Cargill Inc. said it was contacted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture this week as part of a “routine trace-back” of all beef suppliers to Hannaford Supermarkets following a suspected salmonella outbreak.

Cargill is one of “multiple” fresh-beef suppliers to Hannaford, Cargill said today in an e-mail. The company said that it has found no evidence that any of its beef was tainted.

A probe by government inspectors so far “has not been able to trace the source of the outbreak beyond Hannaford because of inadequate records and grinding practices at the store chain,” a spokesman for the USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service said today in an e-mailed statement.

“FSIS has encouraged retailers to provide more complete information in their grinding logs and will continue to work with the industry towards addressing this concern,” the agency spokesman said. “As our investigation continues, the retail chain indicated they intend to reexamine their grinding practices and make appropriate changes.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Shruti Singh in Chicago at ssingh28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net

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