Preventive actions required

Based on examination of the cereal production chain for both the milling and the malting industries a number of key points have been identified and must be effectively managed and monitored to minimize ochratoxin A accumulation in the food and feed chain (Table 1). With the identification of the critical control points, these points must be effectively and accurately monitored. Systems need to be available to enable accurate measurements to be made. This monitoring requires a mixture of techniques ranging from lab-based assays, with highly skilled personnel and/or sophisticated analytical equipment, to hand-held devices for on-farm and field-based measurements. Molecular-based tools for ochratoxin A detection (Geisen, 2004) have been developed in addition to immunoassays that can meet required legislative limits. More recently, lateral flow devices have been developed which may be relatively inexpensive and easy enough to use that natural levels of contamination could be routinely checked (Danks et al., 2003).

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