Food Law News - UK - 2004

FSA News Item, 26 November 2004

CONTAMINANTS - Baby food survey for mycotoxins

A survey carried out by the Agency has shown that mycotoxins are not present in the majority of samples of infant and baby foods and none were over legal limits.

Mycotoxins are undesirable natural chemicals produced by moulds that grow on foods such as cereals, nuts, dried fruits and legumes and their products. The mycotoxins analysed in this study were aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2, ochratoxin A and patulin.

A total of 199 samples of infant and baby foods were bought and analysed between November 2003 and January 2004. A wide range of brands and retailers, including supermarkets and smaller shops, was covered in order to ensure that the survey was representative of the UK infant and baby food market.

Overall, the levels of mycotoxins found were very low less than 10% of the samples tested had a detectable level of mycotoxins. None of the samples were over the legal limits for total aflatoxin, aflatoxin B1, ochratoxin A or patulin. Patulin was not detected in any of the 30 samples tested for it.

The Agency used the survey results to inform negotiations to set limits for mycotoxins in infant foods within the European Union and to ensure that infant foods available in the UK comply with legal limits. The results of this survey do not raise any new safety concerns and no one should change the infant and baby food products they buy as a result of it.

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