Aflatoxin protocol

Please, pay attention: additional measures are currently in place for Romanian maize. See also Alert dated 27 january 2023 (dutch).

As a precautionary measure, SecureFeed participants are currently not allowed to deliver maize from Romania to dairy cattle or process it in dairy cattle feed. In addition, processing in compound feed or direct supply of maize from Romania to all other target animals is only allowed on a positive release basis. This precautionary measure applies immediately and until further notice.

Problem aflatoxin B1

Aflatoxin B1 is a carcinogenic mycotoxin formed by various Aspergillus fungi. Maize and maize (by)products are widely used feed materials. It is known that maize is highly susceptible to contamination with aflatoxin. The weather conditions during the growing and harvesting period in the countries of origin have a major influence on whether or not aflatoxin contamination occurs. As a result, the level of contamination in a country or region of origin varies from year to year.

Risk Classification of Cultivation Countries 

As maize from different harvest years is often on the market in any given year, it is of importance to consider these different harvest years and their corresponding levels of contamination in this protocol. Maize and maize by-products have therefore been classified into three risk groups on the basis of their origin: Low-, Medium- and High-risk countries.

The aflatoxin protocol of SecureFeed describes requirements for each of these three risk groups with regard to frequency of analysis, sampling, method of analysis, verification, production and purchase of maize and maize by-products. These requirements are necessary for the control of aflatoxin risks in maize and maize by-products in dairy cattle feed.

Target animals

Depending on the animal for which the maize or the maize by-product is intended, the requirements may differ.

Dairy cattle

More stringent and additional requirements are imposed on feedstuffs intended for dairy cattle rather than  feedstuffs for other target animals. The SecureFeed aflatoxin protocol applies entirely to maize and maize by-products intended for dairy cattle and should be regarded as a mandatory addition to the GMP+ requirements.

Other target animals

For the purchase and processing of maize and maize by-products intended for target animals other than dairy cattle, the applicable requirements are described in GMP+ (2020) TS 1.7 'Monitoring' chapter 2 or GMP+ (2010) BA4, paragraph 2.3

With the proviso that the SecureFeed country classification applies as indicated in Manual Document D-25 and that participants must report violations of action and rejection limits based on the SecureFeed standards as included in Manual Document D-01

Three documents

The SecureFeed aflatoxin protocol consists of three related documents:

1.    The core of the protocol is presented in I-08-03c Aflatoxin Protocol maize and maize by-products.

2.    Document D-25 Risk classification countries Aflatoxin B1 in maize and maize (by-products) demonstrates the current risk classification for maize and maize (by-products) of the different countries for the current crop year and previous crop years.

3.    The third document: I-08-03c-1 Instruction for the revision of the country classification in D-25 describes in the revision criteria of the country classification in D-25 will be revised.


For questions or comments on the SecureFeed aflatoxin protocol, please contact the Working group ‘Product’  staff by sending an e-mail to: (