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Carnation milk mystery substance turns out to be mould

A Fall River, Nova Scotia woman who found a mysterious substance at the bottom of a can of Carnation milk says an official with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency told her the substance was mould.

Ellen Chesal says an inspector with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency came and examined the product

This is what Ellen Chesal found at the bottom of a can of Carnation milk. (Submitted by Ellen Chesal)

A Fall River, N.S., woman who found a mysterious substance at the bottom of a can of Carnation milk says an official with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency told her the substance was mould.

On Thursday night, Ellen Chesal prepared a chicken dish that included Carnation milk, punctured the top of the can and poured the milk. It wasn't until she was cleaning up after dinner that she noticed something remained in the can.

Initially, she said, she thought it might be curdled milk and described the substance as looking like "a fish or a lizard."

Chesal says a friend of hers called the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and it sent out an inspector on Friday to take a look at the substance. The inspector determined it was mould.

Ellen Chesal discovered what was in the can of Carnation milk only after she had finished eating her dinner. (Stephanie vanKampen/CBC)

Chesal says she is relieved to know what the substance was, but is concerned about potential side effects.

"At present, nobody is feeling any ill health from it," she told CBC News on Saturday.

Chesal says the inspector said if the can had any holes in it, this could have caused the mould to grow.

"She looked at the can and we couldn't see anything," said Chesal.

Chesal says the inspector took a sample of the mould, and told her this would trigger an inspection of the facility where the Carnation milk came from.

On Friday, a spokesperson with Smucker Foods of Canada Corp. — Carnation's parent company — said it thought the problem might be milk skin, which occurs when milk product is left opened, used over time or not refrigerated properly.

CBC News has reached out to both Smucker Foods and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and is awaiting comment.

Ellen Chesal said she has not experienced any side effects from her Thursday night dinner. (Submitted by Ellen Chesal)

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