Brazil nuts recalled for high levels of aflatoxins, affected batches

The Ministry of Health, through numerous warning notes, has raised the alarm for high levels of aflatoxins in nuts of the Brazil. The products, present on the shelves of various supermarkets in Italy, have been reported and it is requested not to consume them due to possible damage related to the carcinogenic properties of the microtoxin present.

Brazil nuts recalled, affected lots

With 9 recall notes, the Ministry of Health has reported possible risks for Brazil nuts. In fact, the company's products are the subject of the recall There Forlivesepresent in several supermarkets in Italy.

Specifically, we read in the recall notes on the Ministry of Health website, among the reasons is the lack of conformity “due to exceeding the limit of aflatoxin B1 and Total” in the product.

These are different lines, all produced by Torrefazione La Forlivese SRL with headquarters in via Ossi, 93 in Forlì. These are the affected lots, all with the same problems linked to exceeding the aflatoxin limits.

  • Beauty Mix, 1 kg bucket – production batch 080324 with expiration 11/2024;
  • Beauty Mix, 1 kg bucket – production batch 150224 with expiration 10/2024;
  • 5 kg Beauty Mix – production batch 150224 with expiry 02/2025;
  • 5 kg Beauty Mix – production batch 100424 with expiry 02/2025;
  • 5 kg Beauty Mix – production batch 100424 with expiry date 04/2025;
  • Raw Brazil nuts, 1 kg bucket – production batch 2400181701 with expiry date 09/2024;
  • Raw Brazil nuts, 1 kg bucket – production batch 120324027 with expiry date 11/2024;
  • Raw Brazil nuts, 1 kg bucket – production batch 180324020 with expiry date 11/2024;
  • Raw Brazil nuts, 1 kg bucket – production batch 260224026 with expiry date 10/2024.

What are aflatoxins

The aflatoxins I am mycotoxins produced by fungal species belonging to the Ascomycetes class and are toxic, among the most carcinogenic substances in existence. In favorable environmental conditions, such as a warm and humid climate, they germinate and subsequently colonize grains such as cereals, legumes and oilseeds or dried fruit and from these they can transfer to derived carbohydrates such as flours.

The toxicity of aflatoxins most likely arises from their ability to bind to nucleic acids and interfere with protein synthesis. These substances act negatively on the immune system and favor the appearance of tumors even in extrahepatic locations.

Aflatoxins have the ability to cause damage to health both in the short-medium term and chronically. The liver is the main target of aflatoxins: the one of greatest toxicological interest is undoubtedly aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) because it has an action on genes (genotoxic) and on development of liver cancer (hepatocarcinogenic).

At European level, Regulation (EU) 1881/2006 (consolidated text) sets the maximum limits that can be present in food products such as cereals, dried fruit, spices, baby products and milk as regards aflatoxin B1, total aflatoxins, (AFB1+AFB2+AFG1+AFG2) and aflatoxin M1.

The Ministry's attention on food safety

As mentioned, food safety is put first by the Ministry of Health which monitors as best it can the quality of products sold in supermarkets. Specifically, this mechanism is possible thanks to food sector operators (FBOs) who have the obligation to inform their customers of the non-conformity found in the foods they place on the market and to withdraw a product from the market.

In addition to the recall, if the product has already been sold to the consumer, the FBO must carry out the recall, i.e. it must inform consumers about the products at risk, also through signage to be placed in the points of sale, and publish the recall in the specific area of ​​the portal of the Ministry of Health.