The most common, toxic, and carcinogenic mycotoxins found in human food and animal feed are the aflatoxins (AFs). The United States is a leading exporter of various nuts, with a marketing value of $9.1 billion in 2019; the European Union countries are the major importers of U.S. nuts. In the past few years, border rejections and notifications for U.S. tree nuts and peanuts exported to the E.U. countries have increased due to AF contamination. In this work, we analyzed notifications from the “Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)” on U.S. food and feed products contaminated with mycotoxins, primarily AFs, for the 10-year period 2010–2019. Almost 95% of U.S. mycotoxin RASFF notifications were reported for foods and only 5% for feeds. We found that 98.9% of the U.S. food notifications on mycotoxins were due to the AF contamination in almond, peanut, and pistachio nuts. Over half of these notifications (57.9%) were due to total AF levels greater than the FDA action level in food of 20 ng g−1
. The Netherlands issued 27% of the AF notifications for U.S. nuts. Border rejection was reported for more than 78% of AF notifications in U.S. nuts. All U.S. feed notifications on mycotoxins occurred due to the AF contamination. Our research contributes to better understanding the main reasons behind RASFF mycotoxins notifications of U.S. food and feed products destined to E.U. countries. Furthermore, we speculate possible causes of this problem and provide a potential solution that could minimize the number of notifications for U.S. agricultural export market.
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