Category Archives: Toxin

Research – New file of the Map of dangers on the ciguatera


In the Hazard Map database we have added in the group of chemical hazards, such as marine toxins, the ciguatera.

Fish poisoning called ciguatera or ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) occurs because they have ingested a large amount of ciguatoxin-producing algae: these are benthic dinoflagellates of the genus Gambierdiscus spp .

Cytokines (CTXs) accumulate in the fish that ingest them directly (rockfish) or in their predators, where this accumulation reaches higher levels.

USA – Sunshine Mills, Inc. Expands Previously Announced Voluntary Recall of Certain Pet Food Products Due to Potentially Elevated Levels of Aflatoxin



Sunshine Mills, Inc. is expanding its voluntary recall of certain pet food products that were made with corn that contained Aflatoxin at levels above FDA’s action levels. This is an expansion of the recall initiated September 2, 2020, after an investigation conducted along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined that additional corn-based pet food products produced between April 3, 2020 and April 5, 2020 may contain corn from a single load of corn with elevated levels of aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring mold by-product from the growth of Aspergillus flavus and can be harmful to pets if consumed in significant quantities. No illnesses have been reported in association with these products to date, and no other Sunshine Mills, Inc. pet food products are affected by this announcement.

Sunshine Mills, Inc. has chosen to expand its voluntary recall to include these additional products as a precautionary measure in furtherance of its commitment to the safety and quality of its products. Pets with aflatoxin toxicity (aflatoxicosis) may show symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, diarrhea, and in some cases, death. Pets experiencing any of these symptoms after consuming the recalled products should be seen by a veterinarian.

The affected products were distributed in retail stores within the United States. Principle Super Premium Natural Dog Food is exported exclusively to a distributor in Japan. Sportsman’s Pride Maintenance Adult Formula Dog Food is also exported to a distributor in Japan and Colombia. Retailers who received the recalled lots have been contacted and asked to pull any remaining inventory of these lots from their shelves. There are no other Champ®, Field Trial®, Good Dog, Hunter’s Special®, Old Glory®, Paws Happy Life®, Pet Expert, Principle, Retriever®, River Bend, Sportsman’s Pride®, Sprout®, Thrifty®, Top Runner® or Whiskers & Tails products or other lot codes of these products affected by this voluntary recall. The lot codes can be located on the back of each bag.

New Zealand – Shellfish biotoxin alert – Northland west coast


The Ministry for Primary Industries today issued a public health warning against collecting shellfish on the Northland west coast from Waipapakauri on 90 Mile Beach, south to Pouto Point on the northern head of the Kaipara Harbour. This includes the Herekino, Whangape and Hokianga Harbours. Warning signs will be posted in the coming days.

Another warning remains in place for the west coast of the North Island – from South Head (Manukau Harbour entrance) to Tirua Point (south of Kawhia).

Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from these regions have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI. Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.

Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten.

Note, cooking shellfish does not remove the toxin.

Pāua, crab and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking, as toxins accumulate in the gut. If the gut is not removed its contents could contaminate the meat during the cooking process.

Symptoms typically appear between 10 minutes and 3 hours after ingestion and may include:

  • numbness and a tingling (prickly feeling) around the mouth, face, and extremities (hands and feet)
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • paralysis and respiratory failure and in severe cases, death.

If anyone becomes ill after eating shellfish from an area where a public health warning has been issued, phone Healthline for advice on 0800 61 11 16, or seek medical attention immediately. You are also advised to contact your nearest public health unit and keep any leftover shellfish in case it can be tested.

Monitoring of toxin levels will continue and any changes will be communicated accordingly. Commercially harvested shellfish – sold in shops and supermarkets, or exported – is subject to strict water and flesh monitoring programmes by MPI to ensure they are safe to eat.

MPI Alerts

RASFF Alerts – Aflatoxin – Milk – Chilli Mix -Groundnuts – Chilli Powder –

European Food Alerts


aflatoxins (Tot. = 0.214 µg/kg – ppb) in milk from Italy in Italy


aflatoxins (B1 = 26.8; Tot. = 78.8 µg/kg – ppb) in chili mix powder from Ethiopia, packaged in Germany in Switzerland


aflatoxins (B1 = 8.2; Tot. = 9.4 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts from the United States in the Netherlands


aflatoxins (B1 = 7.9; Tot. = 9.1 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts from Argentina in the Netherlands


aflatoxins (B1 = 16.4; Tot. = 17.4 µg/kg – ppb) in chilli powder from Sri Lanka in the UK


aflatoxins (B1 = 11; Tot. = 13 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts from India, via Switzerland in the Netherlands

Caribbean – CPS reports cases of fish poisoning

The Daily Herald

PHILIPSBURG–The Collective Prevention Service (CPS), as a public health agency, is advising the public to pay attention to proper food handling procedures when preparing meals.

CPS said the department had received reports of four cases of fish poisoning September 5 and 7.

“As with all reportable diseases, CPS surveillance nurses conduct case follow-up to identify the possible source(s) of exposure,” CPS said on Thursday. During the investigation, it came to light that the purchasing, storage, and preparation of the seafood played a major role in the source of food poisoning.

“CPS would like to remind persons when purchasing fish, or any type of sea food, that it is important to handle the products safely to reduce the risk of foodborne illness often called food poisoning,” said the department.

Germany – Good & cheap salad mix leaf salad mix – STEC E.coli

Warning type:


Date of first publication:


Product name:

Good & cheap salad mix leaf salad mix

Product pictures:

Product photo.jpg
Manufacturer (distributor):


Reason for warning:

E. Coli producing shiga toxin

Packaging Unit:

150 g pack



Additional Information:

Reference is made to the attached press release from the food business operator.

Contact to the responsible authorities:




Lower Saxony:



Press releases and information
title Attachment or web link
Press release

Research – Animal Health – Mycotoxin – Beauvericin a Fusarium Mycotoxin

All About Feed

Beauvericin is a Fusarium mycotoxin known for its antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties, but it also causes oxidative stress and cell death.

Although these biological activities are mainly interesting for drug development, chronic animal exposure to such a chemical via feed will certainly influence performance and health status. Even though this mycotoxin is still ‘emerging’, its presence in feed materials has been known for many years.

Beauvericin (BEA) is commonly found as a co-contaminant in grains where other Fusarium mycotoxins such as Deoxynivalenol (DON) and Zearalenone (ZEA) are present. From the feedstuffs we evaluate at Schothorst Feed Research (SFR), BEA is often detected in corn and soy hulls at levels varying from 10 to 500 µg/kg. However, much higher contamination levels have been reported by others. As was published by All About Feed in 2010, a study performed in South Korea showed that 27% of feed ingredients were then contaminated with BEA at levels up to 1.8 mg/kg (almost 4 times higher than our findings). These levels can be extremely high, reaching circa 500 mg/kg in corn as was reported by Logrieco and others in the 1990s. Although these are extreme levels and they only occur occasionally, the constant presence of this mycotoxin is feedstuffs should be of concern to nutritionists and veterinarians.

RASFF Alert – Ochratoxin A – Figs

European Food Alerts


ochratoxin A (28 µg/kg – ppb) in figs from Turkey in the Netherlands

South Korea – Increase in Vibrio vulnificus Cases

Outbreak News today


The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has reported an increase in Vibrio vulnificus infections in the first eight months of 2020.

Epidemiological investigations of five patients who died from Vibrio vulnificus infection found that all of them were at high risk for the illness, with underlying conditions such as alcoholism, diabetes and liver disease, The Korea Times reports.

Vibrio vulnificus can cause disease in those who eat contaminated seafood or have an open wound that is exposed to warm seawater containing the bacteria. Ingestion of Vibrio vulnificus can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Vibrio vulnificus can also cause an infection of the skin when open wounds are exposed to warm seawater; these infections may lead to skin breakdown and ulcers.

New Zealand – Shellfish Biotoxin Alerts



Warnings are reviewed weekly following sampling results. Information on this page is then updated if needed.

If you have questions, email

Current warnings

Hawke’s Bay – North Island

West Coast – South Head to Tauratahi Point – North Island

Previous changes
  • 19 August: Hawke Bay Warning extended to Young Nicks Head.
  • 12 August: NI West Coast – South Head to Tauratahi Point warning issued
  • 12 August: Port Levy warning removed.
  • 10 July 2020: Hawke’s Bay warning extended.
  • 2 July 2020: Hawke Bay warning issued