Mycotoxins: food safety management implications

Main Article Content

Anton J. Alldrick
Hans P. van Egmond
Michele Solfrizzo

Keywords

analysis, legislation, mycotoxin

Abstract

Food chemical contaminants are chemicals that are not normally found in a particular food, their ingredients or the original raw material. Their presence is only acceptable when the levels that they occur at do not compromise public safety and are unavoidable after exercise of best practice. Mycotoxins, the toxic metabolites of certain filamentous fungi, are one group of contaminants and specific legislation, regulating permitted levels of contamination exists for a number of mycotoxin/food combinations. In many cases there is now considerable knowledge not only of the conditions conducive to their formation but also of the mechanisms that need to be in place to prevent or limit their occurrence. In a number of cases this knowledge has been converted into guidelines or other strategies, which both farmers and the food industry have adopted. Assessing levels of compliance and efficacy of these measures is achieved through appropriate audit/inspection and chemical-analytical regimes.

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