European Union (EU) food safety consumer alert service RASFF has warned of a series of aflatoxin contaminations in a variety of imported and EU-produced foodstuffs.

Aflatoxins are remarkably potent and highly poisonous, often causing disease even when ingested in minute amounts. Aflatoxins can cause a number of health problems, but are most commonly associated with acute or chronic liver disease and liver cancer.

Aflatoxins have been discovered within: Polish roasted and salted peanuts in Slovenia; Ethiopian mixed spices in Italy; Chinese, Ivory Coast and Ghanaian peanut butter in Britain; American almonds in Italy; Turkish hazelnuts, kernels and paste in France, Germany and Italy; Nigerian ogbono groundnuts in Britain; and Iranian pistachio nuts in Germany, Spain and Poland, among others.

The toxin's presence has been significant across Europe this year, with these outbreaks occurring in the last week of July, reported RASFF.