Category Archives: Aspergillus

USA – Voluntary Recall of One Lot of Kaytee® Wild Bird Food Birders Blend, 8 Lb Bag, Due to Elevated Levels of Aflatoxin


Front Label, Kaytee Wild Bird Birders Blend

CHILTON, WI – March 18, 2023 – Kaytee Products Inc. is voluntarily recalling one lot of Kaytee® Wild Bird Food Birders’ Blend, 8 lb. bag, UPC 0 71859 02711 1, Lot Number PennPak1 102022 933, best buy date of 041224, due to potentially elevated levels of Aflatoxin above the acceptable limit. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring by-product from the growth of Aspergillus flavus and can be harmful to wild birds if consumed in significant quantities. No illnesses have been reported in association with this product to date and no other Kaytee products are affected.

On March 13, 2023, the Georgia Department of Agriculture notified Kaytee Products Inc. that after conducting a routine laboratory analysis of the product, Lot PennPak1 102022 933 located on the bottom right corner of the front of the 8 lb. bags of Kaytee® Wild Bird Food Birder’s Blend was found to contain elevated levels of Aflatoxin.

The products affected by this announcement are:




Lot No.

Best by

Kaytee® Wild Bird Food Birders’ Blend 8 lb 0 71859 02711 1 PennPak1

Research – Microbiological safety of aged meat



The impact of dry‐ageing of beef and wet‐ageing of beef, pork and lamb on microbiological hazards and spoilage bacteria was examined and current practices are described. As ‘standard fresh’ and wet‐aged meat use similar processes these were differentiated based on duration. In addition to a description of the different stages, data were collated on key parameters (time, temperature, pH and aw) using a literature survey and questionnaires. The microbiological hazards that may be present in all aged meats included Shiga toxin‐producing Escherichia coli (STEC), Salmonella spp., Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, enterotoxigenic Yersinia spp., Campylobacter spp. and Clostridium spp. Moulds, such as Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp., may produce mycotoxins when conditions are favourable but may be prevented by ensuring a meat surface temperature of −0.5 to 3.0°C, with a relative humidity (RH) of 75–85% and an airflow of 0.2–0.5 m/s for up to 35 days. The main meat spoilage bacteria include Pseudomonas spp., Lactobacillus spp. Enterococcus spp., Weissella spp., Brochothrix spp., Leuconostoc spp., Lactobacillus spp., Shewanella spp. and Clostridium spp. Under current practices, the ageing of meat may have an impact on the load of microbiological hazards and spoilage bacteria as compared to standard fresh meat preparation. Ageing under defined and controlled conditions can achieve the same or lower loads of microbiological hazards and spoilage bacteria than the variable log10 increases predicted during standard fresh meat preparation. An approach was used to establish the conditions of time and temperature that would achieve similar or lower levels of L. monocytogenes and Yersinia enterocolitica (pork only) and lactic acid bacteria (representing spoilage bacteria) as compared to standard fresh meat. Finally, additional control activities were identified that would further assure the microbial safety of dry‐aged beef, based on recommended best practice and the outputs of the equivalence assessment.


Research – Emerging Method to Protect Food Crops from Carcinogenic Aflatoxins

Food Safety.Com

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA’s ARS) are using a bioplastic coating to naturally shield seeds from Aspergillus, a type of fungi that produces aflatoxin. Exposure to aflatoxins is a food safety issue due to the compound’s carcinogenic and other harmful effects.

In the U.S., Southern agriculture is most affected by aflatoxins, as hot, dry conditions promote Aspergillus growth and aflatoxin production. Recent science has shown, however, that the Midwestern Corn Belt may be increasingly affected in the near future due to climate change. Corn is highly susceptible to aflatoxin contamination, as are seeds, nuts, feed, stored grain, and other important crops.

The new method for mitigating aflatoxin contamination of crops involves coating seeds with a protective, innocuous strain of Aspergillus, delivered via a mixture of biodegradable, corn starch-based bioplastic and biochar. The competitive Aspergillus strain found in the coating prevents aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus from infecting the seed, and other components of the mixture create a physical barrier that prevents contamination.  

USA – Something South African LLC Recalls the Peppercorn Collection Gift Set Because of Possible Health Risk – Mould and Ochratoxin A



Company Announcement Date:
FDA Publish Date:
Product Type:
Food & Beverages
Reason for Announcement:
Mold (Aspergillus brasiliensis) and Ochratoxin A contamination
Company Name:
Something South African LLC
Brand Name:
World Market
Product Description:
Pepper Collection Gift Set

Company Announcement

Something South African LLC of Seattle, WA is recalling the Peppercorn Collection Gift Set, affected Best Before End (BBE) date of JUN/2024, Batch 494951-T, because mold (Aspergillus brasiliensis) and Ochratoxin A were detected in the Malaysian Long Pepper.

The affected Malaysian Long Pepper is visible through a sleeve of the Peppercorn Collection Gift Set (SKU 549153). This set has the net wt. 4.87oz/138g and UPC 6 009686 793712. This set consists of eight different kind of dried peppers and each kind is packaged in a sealed glass tube.

The gift set that contains the affected Malaysian Long Pepper has the Best Before End (BBE) date of JUN/2024 and Batch 494951-T printed on the back side of a package. The product was sold at the World Market stores nationwide and on the World Market e-commerce web site www.worldmarket.comExternal Link Disclaimer.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall was initiated when our supplier notified us that mold (Aspergillus brasiliensis) and Ochratoxin A were detected in the Malaysian Long Pepper. The company has ceased the production and distribution of the product as our supplier continues with their root cause investigation.

Research – Antifungal action of quaternary ammonium compounds against environmental molds isolated from food industries

Wiley Online

CDC Mould


Molds are ubiquitously found microorganisms that are usually present as contaminants in food industrial environments. It has been shown that Cladosporium and Aspergillus genera are two of the most abundant and widely distributed in these locations because they are highly resistant species to sanitizing treatments. Hence, the search of antimicrobial compounds that are effective to these types of fungal contamination becomes relevant. The aim of this report was to evaluate the antifungal capacity of two commercial preparations made both with benzalkonium chloride (a first generation QAC) alone and with the addition of glutaraldehyde at different concentrations and contact times. A suspension-neutralization test was performed employing spores of five strains of both Aspergillus section Nigri and Cladosporium cladosporioides, all isolated from food industries environments. Results have shown that benzalkonium chloride preparation was successful in destroying Cladosporium spores at 5% (v/v) concentration (average 4D value of 9.1 min) but failed in neutralizing Aspergillus propagules at the same conditions. On the other hand, the commercial mixture made of benzalkonium chloride and glutaraldehyde was effective in the inactivation of all food spoilage fungi spores at 1% (v/v) concentration (average 4D value of 1.8 and 8.8 min for Cladosporium and Aspergillus strains, respectively).

Research – Microbial Diversity and Safety in Fermented Beverages


For thousands of years, humans have exploited the natural process of fermentation of various foods to preserve them, and to enjoy the changes in the sensory characteristics that could be produced. Recently, the world of fermented beverages has gone through a rapid transformation linked to deep changes in consumer preferences, consumption habits, climate, new regulations and entry of emerging countries, accompanied by safety concerns and an important reduction in economic resources available to people. As with all food handling and preparation, we need to be sure the fermented food produced is safe. Fermentation is a complex biological process where microbial diversity takes place and the environment created inside of the fermented food provides the conditions to reduce the risk of pathogenic bacteria growth, thus providing safe food. In addition, food manufacturers fermenting food carefully control their processing and must comply with the National Food Standards Codes. Although these products have a generally good food safety record, sometimes inadequate manufacturing practices or the presence of acidophilic pathogens could compromise food safety. In fact, fermented beverages may adversely become contaminated with pathogens or microbial toxins and thereby transform into vehicles that can transmit diseases to the consumers. Moreover, many microorganisms can deteriorate the physical-chemical and sensory properties as well as the flavor of the final products. In this editorial, we present an overview of a review and six original research papers published in the Special Issue “Fermentation Process and Microbial Safety of Beverages” of the Beverages journal.

Research – Aflatoxin Reduction and Retardation of Aflatoxin Production by Microorganisms in Doenjang during a One-Year Fermentation


Meju, a raw material for doenjang preparation, is highly vulnerable to aflatoxin-producing fungi. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a one-year fermentation on aflatoxins and aflatoxin-producing fungi in doenjang spiked with aflatoxins B1, G1, B2, and G2 and inoculated with toxigenic Aspergillus flavus. A significant reduction in aflatoxins was observed after a year of fermentation, measuring 92.58%, 100%, 98.69%, and 100% of B1, G1, B2, and G2, respectively. After a year of fermentation, 6.95 ± 3.64 µg/kg of total aflatoxin was detected, which represents a 97.88% reduction in the total aflatoxin compared with the initial value (328.83 ± 36.60 µg/kg). Several aflatoxin-degrading fungi (Aspergillus versicolorCladosporium subcinereumAspergillus ochraceus) and bacteria (Bacillus albusBacillus velezensis) isolated from doenjang were identified as the major contributors to the reduction of aflatoxin. Furthermore, it was observed that most of the aflatoxin contamination in doenjang occurred during the meju stage, and this stage was found to be most susceptible to A. flavus contamination and growth. These findings reveal that native microorganisms mediate aflatoxin clean-up in doenjang during fermentation and support the use of such microorganisms as a starter culture for the preparation of aflatoxin-free doenjang.

Research – How do Time, Tannin and Moisture Content Influence on Toxicogenic Fungal Populations during the Storage of Sorghum Grains?

Journal of Food Protection

Cereal grains are usually ensiled to improve their nutritional value and are one of the main sources of feed for dairy cattle. However, during storage, grains can be contaminated with toxicogenic fungi. Sorghum is one of the most economically important cereals in the world. Therefore, the aim of this work was to evaluate the influence of storage duration and tannin and moisture contents on toxicogenic fungal populations in sorghum grain storage. Samples were prepared with variety high in tannins (genotypes Morgan 108 and ACA 558, >5g/kg DM) and with variety low tannin content (genotypes Flash 10 and ACA 546, <1g/kg DM) were collected and manually compacted in experimental laboratory silos where they received different moisture content treatments, namely low (15-25%), medium (26-32%) and high (33-42%). Freshly harvest grains were analyzed at time 0 and storage grains were analyzed at different times (30, 90 and 180 days). Fungal isolation and identification were performed following conventional mycological methods. Penicillium citrinum (34%), Aspergillus flavus (60%) and Fusarium nygamai (68%) were the most abundant species. Rapid detection of aflatoxins and fumonisins in each sample was performed by ELISA according to the AOAC method, and the quantification of aflatoxin B 1 was performed by HPLC. Aflatoxins were detected in four samples with levels of 6.7-28.8 µg/kg and aflatoxin B 1 with a level of 2-14 µg/kg in pre- and post-storage grains . Fumonisins were only detected in two freshly harvested samples with levels of 500-900 µg/kg . In general, the storage time favored the increase of Penicillium population, instead the Aspergillus and Fusarium are reduced. Conversely the abundance of the three population was not affected by the moisture content. The results of this study show that fungal population must be analyzed at different times.

USA – Salmonella, Mold/Mould prompt recall of Marijuana Syrups and Distallates

Food Safety News


Image CDC

Public health officials in Arizona are reporting a recall of several marijuana products after testing found Salmonella and Aspergillus mold. The Arizona Department of Health Services reports that the recall includes edible products in the forms of honey-like syrup and distallates.

Several unidentified dispensaries and other unspecified marijuana-related businesses initiated the recall. Consumers who bought the products listed below are being advised to throw them away.

Although no illnesses or reactions have been confirmed as of the posting of the recall notice, Salmonella can cause serious infections and Aspergillus can cause life-threatening reactions in people who have certain mold allergies.

USA – Arizona: Marijuana products recalled due to possible contamination with Salmonella or Aspergillus fungus

Outbreak News Today

Arizona state health officials announced Wednesday that multiple Arizona marijuana establishments and dispensaries are initiating a voluntary recall of specific marijuana products due to possible contamination with Salmonella or Aspergillus.

To date, no illnesses have been reported. This announcement is being made out of an abundance of caution. Patients who have purchased potentially contaminated products should not ingest, inhale, or otherwise consume them and should dispose of them. If you have already consumed any of the products and have any of the symptoms described below, please contact your healthcare provider or seek emergency care in the event of an emergency.

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is advising purchasers to dispose of the products in the link aboe, which were found in laboratory tests to be positive for Salmonella or Aspergillus: