FDA approves blending of corn containing aflatoxin

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Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) request to allow corn containing more than 20 parts per billion (ppb) of aflatoxin to be blended with corn with lower levels or no aflatoxin to be used for animal feed in accordance with FDA guidelines.

Certain procedures must be followed in the blending process. Prior to blending, the blending firm must file a compliance certification form and submit the completed form to KDA. By filing the certificate the blending firm certifies that it shall comply with the following conditions when blending corn containing aflatoxin in concentrations of higher than 20 ppb (parts per billion) and less than 500 ppb with other corn containing aflatoxin and/or corn free of aflatoxin for animal feed:

a. Corn contaminated with aflatoxin above 20 ppb may be blended with other corn to the extent that the resulting product is below the appropriate aflatoxin action level in corn used as or in animal feed. The blended corn will be used, sold, or shipped in interstate commerce or for use as or in feed for mature poultry, breeding swine and finishing swine over 100 pounds, breeding cattle and finishing (feedlot) cattle as long as the aflatoxin levels are below the action levels set forth in FDA Guidance Document, Compliance Policy Guide‐ Section 683.100, “Action Levels for Aflatoxin in Animal Feeds.”

b. Once the blending operation is completed, each batch of blended corn will be analyzed to determine its aflatoxin level. Samples will be analyzed by the Kansas Grain Inspection Service with results reported to the blending firm and the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The analysis shall be performed using U.S. Department of Agriculture Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) approved sampling and analysis protocols and testing procedures. Prior to the use of the blended corn and before shipment in interstate commerce, the seller will certify that the aflatoxin level of the blended batch does not exceed the action level for the appropriate intended species. The GIPSA protocol can be found by clicking here.

c. The seller of corn blended pursuant to this process will provide the purchaser with a copy of the analytical results generated from the process described in subparagraph “b.” In addition, the seller will obtain written assurance from the purchaser that blended corn will be used only as described in subparagraph “a.”

d. The blended corn will be clearly identified and labeled for animal feed use only.

e. Corn containing aflatoxin levels greater than 500 ppb cannot be blended.

Grain handlers need to be aware that aflatoxin levels can potentially increase in storage. Aflatoxin contaminated corn held in storage should be cooled as  quickly as possible to below 50° F and the moisture of the grain should be reduced to less than 15%. Grain should be checked frequently and any out of condition grain should be handled in an appropriate manner. In the spring, raise grain temperature gradually so as to minimize condensation on the grain.

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