It depends. Unless all your text processing tools are UNICODE-smart, you can easily end up with a BOM at the beginning of any line, not just the first, and really they could end up anywhere, depending on what you're doing. Imagine using cat and paste on files with BOMs. In my experience (and I've had quite a bit), I almost always end up having to delete BOM-looking strings from the entire file, not just the beginning.
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