T-2 and HT-2 toxins in food and feed


Mycotoxins, Fusarium, HT-2 toxin, T-2 toxin, food, feed, analysis, occurrence, human dietary exposure, animal dietary exposure, risk assessment, toxicity, tolerable daily intake (TDI)
First published in the EFSA Journal
19 December 2011
30 November 2011
Last Updated
3 November 2016. This version replaces the previous one/s.
Scientific Opinion

T-2 toxin and HT-2 toxin are mycotoxins produced by various Fusarium species. The European Commission asked EFSA for a scientific opinion on the risk to human and animal health related to the presence of T-2 and HT-2 toxin in food and feed. A total of 20,519 results for the sum of T-2 and HT-2 toxins in food, feed and unprocessed grains, collected in 2005-2010 from 22 European countries, were used in the evaluation. The highest mean concentrations for the sum of T-2 and HT-2 toxins were observed in grains and grain milling products, notably in oats and oat products. Grains and grain-based foods, in particular bread, fine bakery wares, grain milling products, and breakfast cereals, made the largest contribution to the sum of T-2 and HT-2 toxin exposure for humans. T-2 toxin is rapidly metabolised to a large number of products, HT-2 toxin being a major metabolite. Pigs are amongst the most sensitive animals towards the effects of T-2 toxin, the most sensitive endpoints being immunological or haematological effects. Using these data and a benchmark dose analysis the Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain established a group tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 100 ng/kg b.w. for the sum of T-2 and HT-2 toxins. Estimates of chronic human dietary exposure to the sum of T-2 and HT-2 toxins based on the available occurrence data are below the TDI for populations of all age groups, and thus not a health concern. For ruminants, rabbits and farmed fish the estimated exposures to the sum of these toxins based on the available occurrence data are considered unlikely to be a health concern, while for pigs, poultry, dogs and horses the risk of adverse health effects is low. For cats the health risk from the exposure to T-2 and HT-2 toxins cannot be assessed.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Jan Alexander, Diane Benford, Alan Boobis, Sandra Ceccatelli, Bruce Cottrill, Jean-Pierre Cravedi, Alessandro Di Domenico, Daniel Doerge, Eugenia Dogliotti, Lutz Edler, Peter Farmer, Metka Filipič, Johanna Fink-Gremmels, Peter Fürst, Thierry Guérin, Helle Katrine Knutsen, Miroslav Machala, Antonio Mutti, Josef Schlatter, Martin Rose and Rolaf van Leeuwen
Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain
contam [at] efsa.europa.eu
EFSA Journal 2011;9(12):2481 [187 pp.].
Question Number
On request from
European Commission

On November 3, 2016 a report was added under the Supporting information section to reflect the common understanding between EFSA and ANSES following a consultation on the divergence identified in this Scientific Opinion. 

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