Legal regulations on mycotoxins in food and feed

Mycotoxins are among the substances that are undesirable in food and feed. One of the fundamental demands of consumer protection organisations is that the presence of mycotoxins in food and feed be kept as low as possible in order to minimise the risk to the health of both consumers and animals.

Maximum legal levels for mycotoxins

The legislation stipulates maximum admissible levels for mycotoxins. These levels are defined in the valid version of Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006 of 19 December 2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs and in Directive 2002/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 May 2002 on undesirable substances in animal feed.

In the food sector, maximum levels are defined for the following mycotoxins:

  • Aflatoxin B1, Aflatoxin B2, Aflatoxin G1, Aflatoxin G2
  • Ochratoxin A
  • Patulin
  • Deoxynivalenol
  • Zearalenone
  • Fumonisin B1, Fumonisin B2
  • Citrinin
  • Ergot alkaloids indirectly via ergot sclerotia

In the feed sector, maximum levels are defined for the following mycotoxins:

  • Aflatoxin B1
  • Ergot alkaloids indirectly via ergot

In addition, the Commission Recommendation of 27 March 2013 on the presence of the T-2 and HT-2 toxins in cereals and cereal products (2013/165/EU) regulates the T-2 and HT-2 mycotoxins. It defines guidance values for the total amount of toxins and covers both food and feed.

In addition, there are guidance values for the following mycotoxins in products intended for animal feeding based on the Commission Recommendation of 17 August 2006 (2006/576/EC):

  • Deoxynivalenol
  • Zearalenone
  • Ochratroxin A
  • T-2- und HT-2 toxin
  • Fumonisins

In addition to the European regulations, there is also legislation in Germany - in the form of the Ordinance on the Limitation of Contaminants in Food (KmV) in its currently valid version - regarding the reduction of mycotoxin contamination.

BfR reports to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)
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