In the Netherlands compound animal feed is being taken off the market after food safety experts discovered a cancer-causing aflatoxin in shipments of milk from four dairy farms in the country.
Aflatoxins are a naturally occurring mycotoxin which is produced by a fungus that grows on hay or grain. The toxin can be found in the milk of dairy cattle that have been fed the contaminated feed.
The contaminated feed was traced back to supplies from eastern Europe, where shipments originating from Serbia and Romania were found to contain the toxin. Trust Feed, a Dutch organization set up to monitor the safety of supplied raw material to the Dutch feed industry, stated that they are recalling all compound feed produced with maize sourced from Eastern Europe as a precaution.
The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) commented that the compound feed may be the source of the milk contanimation.
On Wednesday the NVWA, discovered a second shipment of milk contaminated with aflatoxin. The milk came from two dairy farms, where production was halted while experts try to find out the cause of the contamination.
Earlier this week, it emerged that contaminated compound feed from Serbia had been discovered in the Netherlands at five pig farms. Three other farms had also received contaminated feed from Romania. While the contamination was also discovered inside poultry feed.
The contamination was first discovered in Germany last Friday, where the food safety authority said a possible 6,500 farms are involved. Because some of the feed was transported via Rotterdam port, the NVWA began an investigation into the spread of the feed in the Netherlands.
Two farms were also found shipping contaminated milk at the end of 2012, those farms have since been allowed to resume production after they were cleared of any further contamination.