Scientific Opinion on the risks for animal and public health related to the presence of T-2 and HT-2 toxin in food and feed


Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2011;9(12):2481 [187 pp.].
Panel Members
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

The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Fusarium toxins: Bruce Cottrill, Susanne Döll, Lutz Edler, Gunnar Sundstøl Eriksen, Peter Farmer, Johanna Fink-Gremmels, Jean-Marc Fremy, Yun Yun Gong, Rudolf Krska, Karsten Meyer, Isabelle Oswald, Dominique Parent-Massin and Hans van Egmond for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion and EFSA staff: Gina Cioacata, Valeriu Curtui, Mari Eskola and Giuseppe Triacchini for the support provided to this scientific opinion. The CONTAM Panel acknowledges all European competent authorities and other stakeholders that provided occurrence data on T-2 and HT-2 toxins for food and feed, and supported the consumption data collection for the Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database.

Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
30 November 2011
Published in the EFSA Journal
19 December 2011
Last Updated
3 November 2016. This version replaces the previous one/s.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy

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. 


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.

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)
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