The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has reported that increased concentrations of the mycotoxin aflatoxin M1 have been found in a sample of raw milk taken in Lower Saxony.
The sample contained 57 ng/kg of the mycotoxin, which is slightly above the EU maximum limit for aflatoxin B1 of 50 ng/kg. The source of the contamination is likely to be maize containing high levels of aflatoxin B1 being used to feed animals. Aflatoxin B1 is metabolised to aflatoxin M1 in the livers of animals ingesting contaminated feed.
The BfR says that such levels are unlikely to present a direct risk to consumers and that no other instances of contaminated milk have been detected. It is also estimated that there is little risk to consumers from meat, eggs and other animal products derived from animals eating contaminated feed.