Mycotoxicology Newsletter

August 1998   Volume IV, No.2


NEW EUROPEAN UNION REGULATION FOR AFLATOXINS IN FOODSTUFFS

A European Commission regulation (EC No. 1525/98), amending Commission Regulation No. 194/97 of January 31, 1997, setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs, and a separate Commission Directive (98/53/CE) on methods of sampling and criteria for methods of analysis for the official control of the levels of aflatoxins in foodstuffs, was issued by the European Commission on July 16, 1998 (Official Journal of the European Communities of July 17, 1998, L 201/93 and L 201/101, respectively).

The following maximum permitted levels (µg/kg) have been fixed for aflatoxin B1 and total aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1 and G2) in different commodities: 1) Groundnuts, nuts and dried fruits intended for direct human consumption or as an ingredient in foodstuffs: 2(B1)/4(tot), 2) Groundnuts to be subjected to sorting or other physical treatment: 8(B1)/15(tot), 3) Nuts and dried fruits to be subjected to sorting or other physical treatment: 5(B1)/10(tot), 4) Cereals and processed products thereof for direct human consumption or as an ingredient in foodstuffs: 2(B1)/4(tot), 5) Cereals to be subjected to sorting or other physical treatment: no specific limit foreseen before July 1, 1999. The maximum permitted level for aflatoxin M1 in milk (raw milk and milk for the manufacture of milk-based products and heat-treated milk) has been fixed at 0.05 ng/L.

Decontamination of products by chemical treatments is forbidden as well as any blending of contaminated products with good quality products in order to reach the admitted level for human consumption. Clear labeling is compulsory for those products to be submitted to sorting or other physical treatment to lower aflatoxin contamination prior to human consumption.

This regulation is applied to all member states of the European Union.