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Kenyan officials receive aflatoxin prevention training

By Staff Reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock

Related tags Aspergillus Mycotoxin Aflatoxin

Kenyan officials have been trained on preventing aflatoxin contamination as they harvest maize from regions experiencing heavy rainfall.

More than 50 officers from the Ministries of Health and Agriculture in Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia counties were present in Kapsabet town for the training.

North Rift counties make up the country’s grain basket with most of Kenya’s staple grain, maize, coming from the region.

Harvesting and storage of maize produce is ongoing in Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia at a time when the region is experiencing high rainfall.

Training was organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) with national and county governments through the Ministries of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and Ministry of Health.

One of the components was to help technical officers identify predisposing factors of aflatoxin contamination, signs of contamination, effects of poisoning and prevention strategies.

Officers were trained on sampling and testing of aflatoxin contamination to enable counties to do periodic monitoring, surveillance and detection.

Aflatoxins most frequently occur when there are high moisture levels in the atmosphere. Washing, cleaning or cooking does not eliminate the mycotoxin.

The most noticeable signs of infection on corn kernels is a grey-green or yellow-green mould but not all mouldy grains indicate contamination and clean looking grains can be affected.

In 2004, about 125 deaths related to aflatoxin exposure were reported in Kitui, Makueni and Machakos.

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