No:MD/QM/78/2005 11th August, 2005
Circular on Aflatoxin limits
All Exporters of Chillies/Chilli Products to EU Countries
We have come across several instances of consignments getting not cleared by the Port Authorities of UK and other EU Countries, as samples drawn from the consignments, when tested had Aflatoxin beyond permissible limits. In many of the cases, the Analytical Report issued by Spices Board had shown Aflatoxin within limits. This underscores the extra care and caution you have to take while exploring consignments to EU. Even if we clear a consignment, where Aflatoxin B1 is say 4.8 ug/kg, which is within limits, in such 'border cases', where presence of Aflatoxin is very close to the maximum limit prescribed viz: 5 ug/kg, you should restrain yourself from exporting the material, and instead take a fresh consignment, get it tested and ensure that it is Aflatoxin free, [and of course, Sudan free].
We advise this as an abundant precaution, as EU, especially UK are testing all consignments for Aflatoxin, [earlier they used to check only at random]. Moreover, the level of Aflatoxin tests detected can show variations depending upon climatic conditions. Aflatoxin is a metabolite produced by a fungus, Aspergillus Flavus. When if already present in cargo, it can grow due to the climatic conditions [Rainy season, etc] both at the storage facility and during transshipments. Proper clean and dry storage is a must and during stuffing, no wet bags should be put in the Container. Also, the moisture of the product should be kept low. In the Analytical Reports of Port Authorities, the result is shown as + - the value which gives scope for variability in result.
Also, the level of recovery may impact the results as in case of levels of recovery at 90% the value may be different from the value detected at 85% recovery. We are apprising you on the above to alert you to take extra care on quality parameters, which are being made more and more stringent by the buying countries.