Guide

Food and feed hygiene for farmers and growers

Mycotoxins in crops and food safety

All cereal farmers must be aware of mycotoxinsthat could be present in their crops. Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by some fungi. If left untreated, mycotoxins can be hazardous to animal and human health.

There are two main types of mycotoxins of concern that usually affect UK crops of which you should be aware. These are:

  • fusarium toxins in the field
  • ochratoxin A in stored grain

Reducing mycotoxins 

You can reduce the risk of mycotoxins through good agricultural practice, which means performing a risk assessment and taking the appropriate actions to manage the risk. For example, you could:

  • dry crops thoroughly before storage
  • avoid intense rotation of fungi host crops 
  • reduce previous crop residue
  • choose resistant crop varieties 
  • consider using fungicide 

Download a code of practice for reducing mycotoxins in cereal (PDF, 423KB).