Aflatoxin B1 Issue

Aflatoxin B1 is a carcinogenic fungal toxin formed by various Aspergillus fungi. Maize and maize (by)products are widely used feed materials. It is known that maize is highly susceptible to contamination with aflatoxin. The weather conditions during the growing and harvesting period in the countries of origin have a major influence on whether or not aflatoxin contamination occurs. As a result, the contamination level in a country or region of origin differs from year to year.

Risk classification of countries of cultivation

As maize from different harvest years is often on the market in any given year, it is important to take into account these different harvest years and their different contamination levels in this procedure. Maize and maize by-products have therefore been classified into three risk groups on the basis of their origin: Low-, Middle- and High-risk countries.

The Aflatoxin Protocol of SecureFeed describes requirements for each of these three risk groups with regard to analysis-frequency, sampling, analysis method, verification, production and purchase of maize and maize by-products. The requirements are necessary for the control of aflatoxin risks in maize and maize by-products, particularly in dairy cattle feed.

Dairy cattle

The requirements differ, depending on the target animal for which the maize or the by-product is intended. More and stricter requirements are set for feedstuffs intended for dairy cattle than for feedstuffs for other animals. The SecureFeed Aflatoxin Protocol is fully applicable to maize and maize by-products intended for dairy cattle (feedstuffs), and should be seen as a mandatory addition to the GMP+ requirements.

Other animals

For the purchase and processing of maize and by-products intended for other animals than dairy cattle, the requirements apply as included in GMP+ (2020) TS 1.7 'Monitoring' chapter 2 or GMP+ (2010) BA4, paragraph 2.3

with the proviso that the SecureFeed country classification applies as indicated in SecureFeed document D-25 and that participants must report exceedance of action and rejection limits based on the SecureFeed standards as included in SecureFeed document D-01 Action and rejection limits.

Three documents


The SecureFeed aflatoxin protocol consists of three related documents:

1.    The core of the protocol can be found in: I-08-03c - Aflatoxin protocol for maize and maize by-products.

2.    Document D-25- Risk Classification countries Aflatoxin B1 in maize- and maize(by-)products gives the current risk classification for maize and maize (by)products of the different countries for the current harvest year and previous harvest years.

3.    The third document: I-08-03c-1- Instruction for revision of country classification in D-25 describes in which way and under which conditions the country classification in D-25 will be adapted.

Any questions?

For any questions or remarks about the SecureFeed Aflatoxin Protocol, please contact the staff of Programme Products by sending an e-mail to  (